The Provincial Budget was released last week with a few announcements affecting the School Districts in the area. Grande Prairie Public School District Board Chair John Lehners says the new Composite replacement didn’t get the funding that they were looking but was added to the 2016 Sunshine List.
“It is important because the schools take so long to build. You want to get that on the books and get it built. From the time they say go, it will take about 3 to 4 years and by that time, a lot growth has already expanded to the point that we are busting at the seams.”
He adds that they got money to pay for teacher contracts and enrollment growth. He says the addition of the enrollment growth helps relieve a lot of pressure.
“It is a step. In the previous commitment, they announced that they weren’t going to do that. That always puts us in a situation as a growing community and in difficult straits.”
The Alberta Government announced $3.5 billion for schools, with $2.9 billion to complete the 200 new and modernization projects previously announced across the province.
Along with the Composite, there were other schools in the area added to the 2016 Sunshine List including the St. Patrick modernization as part of the Grande Prairie Roman Catholic Separate School District. Peace Wapiti School Division had their new Kindergarten to grade 8 school unfunded in Heritage Heights or Flying Shot Lake.
Permanent Supportive Housing in Grande Prairie was also put under the unfunded capital projects list.