People using the performing arts centre at St. John Paul II school will have to find somewhere else to store props, sets and costumes. Grande Prairie City Council has decided not to offer funds for a new 2400 square foot, climate-controlled storage facility at the school.
While Councillor Dylan Bressey says he wanted to support the project, he says he still has a lot of questions.
“As I talked to different users of the space and people who are leading theatre project; they had all kinds of questions… I couldn’t give them a good answer on what exactly the storage facility entails. I can’t support it at this time until I am given more details about exactly what it would look like.”
The facility was designed for school use as well as community use by Grande Prairie Live Theatre but only has storage for items used during student productions. GPLT Manager Wayne Ayling said previously there wasn’t an option to build additional storage when the theatre was first designed.
“The Catholic School Board has supported the community by creating this wonderful new state of the art facility. Unfortunately, the rules of Alberta education prevented the school district from building a storage facility. The reality is that this is a wonderful multi-use facility without any storage.”
Ayling and Catholic School Board Chair Michael Ouellette originally approached the city in 2015 with an ask of $1.4 million. At that point, they were told to go back to the drawing board.
This time they were up for $250,000 if they could match the funding through other sources but that was also turned down. Bressey says if the group wants to ask again he is willing to hear them out.
“If the group did come to council with a bit more detailed designs [and] gave us a bit more details on exactly what they want to put there and how they’ve talked to the community users that would use it, I’d be very open to having this conversation again at council.”
The 350 seat performing arts centre was built for performances as well as banquets, meetings and conferences.