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O’Brien Lake school designed to make students feel like a family

The O’Brien Lake school in Grande Prairie has been designed to make its students feel more like a family. Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools Superintendent Karl Germann says they plan to divide their new school into learning pods.

Germann believes that will make students more comfortable within the school’s potential population of 900 students.

“You’re into an area that has got a flexible space, it’s got a couple of tutorial spaces for kids, there are washrooms, there’s kind of a gathering space and classrooms that surround it. There is no one real hallway. Once you enter the front of that flexible area you basically are in the area of the teaching space.”

The school, which is set to be built in the O’Brien Lake West neighbourhood in the southwest corner of the city, was modelled after a number of schools in the Vancouver area.

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John Paul II and St. Joes also have a similar design. Based on what Germann’s seen during the research process, he believes this design will work best.

“The schools are very calm, the kids are very welcomed and they have a sense of strong community instead of being in a really large school.”

Germann says the school should take about a year and a half to build. He’s expecting to see the doors open by Christmas 2021.

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