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St. Patrick replacement to be built on existing school site

The proposed replacement for St.Patrick Catholic School will be built on the existing school site. That is the result of a vote at a recent meeting of the Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools Board.

The decision was made quickly after it was discovered earlier in February that planned modernization work on the school had to be cancelled after the province rejected the tenders for the project as they were over budget. Board Chair Michael Ouellette says the project has been a back and forth discussion for more than three years, and he is happy that the school division seems to be one step closer to a resolution.

“This has just been never-ending… we originally told the government the best thing to do would be to build us a new building. They came back and said, ‘we’re going to modernize it. Of course, [with] changes in government and changes in the ministry, they came back and agreed with us back to three [years] ago that a rebuild is a way to go.”

A special meeting held on February 18th saw parent groups from both St. Patrick and École St. Gérard present their cases as to where the school should be built. In the end, Ouellette says keeping the building site at the current location made the most sense from a timeline perspective.

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“That is the way that can build the school as fast as possible and with no more delays and we can move on with the programming that we have to look at next.”

St. Patrick Catholic School has been closed since 2017 after a mould issue was discovered in the school. No timeline has been released as to when construction could potentially begin on its replacement.

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