A new colony school is in the works for the Peace Country. With the establishment of the new Bay Tree Hutterite Colony, the Peace Wapiti Public School Division Board has approved a new colony-based school.

PWPSD spokesperson Sheldon Rowe says the school is set to be built about an hour and a half outside of Grande Prairie near Bonanza.

[As] a colony somewhere continues to grow, the population gets to a point where it becomes too large. The mother colony looks around for land and in this case, it was purchased in the Bay Tree area. As part of the process, the children of the families who move up to the new colony will need a school.”

Colony schools are set up on colony land and usually hold around 10 to 30 students. Two schools already exist up in that area, one being Doe River and the other is Silver Valley.

Rowe says the colony builds the schools and any playground equipment and the division provides the teacher and the learning materials.

“We will hire the teacher, we will provide the educational materials, the textbooks, the desks, the teacher’s desk. The colony would provide the millwork and the shelving… [and] we would provide the supervision of the teacher.”

While the exact price tag of the new school has not been released, Rowe says the division will provide the service at no cost to other schools in the division.