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Redevelopment proposed for Avondale area

The City of Grande Prairie is looking to redevelop a 16.9-hectare chunk of the Avondale neighbourhood. The proposed Area Redevelopment Plan includes the Grande Prairie Composite High School, as well as a portion of the Leisure Centre.

A replacement for the Comp was initially planned and developed after the city approved a land swap deal, giving the province a swath of its land in Royal Oaks for the piece west of the current school’s location. The Grande Prairie Public School District, which had originally planned to open a new high school in the neighbourhood to replace the Composite school in 2020, is expected to knock down the old building.

However, the future of the former Leisure Centre, which as recently as 2016 had more than $11 earmarked for repairs, is still up for debate.

“I think over the last number of years it has been identified that there are some structural issues that resulted from having a pool there. I believe the city anticipates knocking down a portion of the Leisure Centre,” says Senior City Planner Dan Whelton.

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Whelton says public consultation is expected to be a major portion of the redevelopment plan when it comes to future land use of the Leisure Centre area.

“Part of this process and the larger city process intends to look at what future recreation needs does the city have. Obviously, the Eastlink Centre is at the south end of the city, and there has been some concern from homeowners on the north side of the city.”

Area residents will be able to voice their approval or disapproval of the potential changes when the consultation process begins. It’s expected to take upwards of 12 months or more for the plan to be completed and sent back to the city’s Infrastructure and Protective Services Committee.

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