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GPRC repairs expected to stretch into fall

Crews are still working on repairs after last month’s fire at Grande Prairie Regional College and they could be there until the fall.

While there has been no official cause determined they do know that it started on the roof of the B wing. GPRC President Don Gnatiuk says the actual fire was quite small.

“The smoke and soot traveled throughout the building resulting in the need for a large cleanup and it resulted in a restoration project. Right now we have about 100 people working seven days a week in that space.”

He says they have health and safety experts working with them as well. He adds the repairs have become quite extensive.

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“As we go along and assess the situation things evolve. So classes and programs have been moved to other parts of the building. We’ve had to relocate events and activities to other locations in the college and across the community.”

Gnatiuk believes the repairs will be completed early in the fall. He says they will continue to monitor the progress and will make a call sometime around mid-August if the B-Wing will be “go or no go” for students in September.

A number of shows that were planned for the Douglas J Cardinal theatre have been moved to other venues around town or elsewhere in the college. Up to date details can be found on their Event Calendar.
Gnatiuk says the theatre itself only required some minor repairs but the concourse area needed some work.

They have taken a number of steps to ensure staff can still function. The entire accounting department is operating out of a classroom according to Gnatiuk.

“Faculties have been displaced. We’ve found alternate office space for them. We’re doing everything we can to get all of our materials and merchandise back to the faculty and to the staff.”

According to Gnatiuk the affected area is everything from the theatre door to the A and B wings. Summer camps, classes and other events should be unaffected.

There is no damage estimate available yet. The college says they hope to have a better idea on the dollar figure in the coming weeks.

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