The new Five Mile Hall school site has been okayed to get power and natural gas utilities. County of Grande Prairie council has approved funding the extension to the land just off of Township Road 714.

Reeve Leanne Beaupre says they’ve worked tirelessly with Peace Wapiti Public School Division, Alberta Infrastructure, and the utility providers, and were able to settle on a price of just under $300,000 for the work. Beaupre adds the ability to get this scope of work done during the COVID-19 pandemic has left her pleasantly surprised.

“We’ve been somewhat isolated from the rest of the province, we still continue to see investment and jobs happening in this area. We are fortunate, compared to some of the other areas in the province, and we see that making these strategic investments will continue to help our economy grow.”

The school will be the second of two built to help the bustling K to 8 population at Harry Balfour, with the 2018 opening of Whispering Ridge Community School helping to ease the burden in the meantime. Beaupre says, with the approval now in place for power and natural gas, she is looking forward to seeing progress in all other aspects of construction.

“It’s quite satisfying to see this as well as the utility services like water and sewer are really close to start putting shovels in the ground to be able to put those much-needed utilities on the school site.”

No start date for the construction of the building itself has been made public.