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New school site approved in Kensington neighbourhood

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Parents moving into the future Kensington neighbourhood development could soon have a new school to send their children to. Grande Prairie City Council members have agreed that a new school can be built on park space in the neighbourhood near 116 Street.

When the area was first being developed, local school districts said that they did not need a school in the area and a park was planned for the space instead.

Since then, an extra 65 hectares of residential land has been added to the neighbourhood. Because of that, Mayor Bill Given says the projected student population in that part of the city is enough to need a new school site and the change over was an easy decision.

“There was already a large municipal reserve space in the centre of the neighbourhood that was intended to be a community park. Obviously, school playgrounds function very much like community parks anyhow and so it was an easy change to make.”

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The city was approached by both the Catholic and public school districts asking for the land but Given says a decision on who will get the site has not been made yet.

“Based on our school site planning policy [we] identified that we would have only one school site in the neighbourhood. At this stage the construction of any school could be many, many years off and who actually could use that site could change over those years.”

Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools Superintendent Karl Germann said previously that the next step in the process will be to work together with the city and public school district in order to see what compromises could be made including seeing if two new schools could be built in one building.

A new school won’t be built until the neighbourhood is complete and the student numbers are in place.

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