Despite being told there was no land available at the moment, one school board isn’t giving up. Conseil Scolaire du Nord-Ouest recently asked the city to allow it to build a second school in the north end of Grande Prairie but was told the land wasn’t available. Superintendent Brigitte Kropielnicki says she’s tried working with the city and local school boards but when that didn’t work she went to the province.
“We’re negotiating with the province regarding that because it’s very hard negotiating with another board for land within the city so we knew we were going to get that answer. We needed that answer to go back to the province and say okay this is not working.”
The district’s current school École Nouvelle Frontière is located in the southwest part of the city. Right now, students living outside that area are bussed in. Kropielnicki says they want to put a school in the north end because that area has been previously underserviced.
“We noticed that we are not reaching our parents from the north area of Grande Prairie. Statistically speaking, there are francophone rights holders in the north end of Grande Prairie and in the northeast end of Grande Prairie; so it’s reasonable to conclude that they aren’t accessing École Nouvelle Frontière because of the bus.”
Kropielnicki says there is no timeline for the project yet but it has been in the board’s capital budget for a number of years.
In a statement, the City says it is in the process of creating a school site selection strategy to help with requests like this one. It is expected to come to council later this year.