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Updated: New school announced for O’Brien Lake

UPDATE: Mayor Bill give says ““As a city with more children under the age of 5 than adults over 65, schools are a high priority for our community.” Mayor Given continued, “We are very pleased that the Province has announced the construction of a new school for O’Brien Lake West which will support this growing area of our City.”

A brand new 950 student Grande Prairie Catholic school has been announced for the O’Brien Lake West community in the city of Grande Prairie. The budget released Thursday announced 20 schools would be built around Alberta.

Friday Premier Rachel Notley announced a mixture of new schools along with some modernization and replacement projects. She teased the possibility of a new school a week before the budget while she was in the city to attend the CUPE convention.

Catholic School Board Chairman Michael Ouellette welcomed the news. He says the last 5 years alone have seen 25 per cent growth.

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“So it’s really going to help us when we reconfigure some schools to figure out how we can [make it work]. We’ve got two schools, Mother Teresa and St Gerard’s, they’ve got 21 modular classrooms on them. They’re just at capacity. We’ve got to work to get those down.”

Ouellette credits the previous board for their work. It was something they advocated to the province for for quite a while.

“Also our current board. It’s something that we’ve worked on. We’ve lobbied the government. Spending time with them. Showing them the reasons why we need the school.”

The school has been approved for kindergarten to grade nine. Ouellette says that could be adjusted as the plans come together.

Premier Notley says some of the new schools could be ready for the 2022-23 school year while those still in the design phase could take a little longer. Ouellette says he expects the timeline to be hammered out as the planning process really gets underway.

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