The County of Grande Prairie will soon be receiving over $2.6 million in provincially backed Municipal Stimulus Program funding to help towards water and wastewater services for the new school site preparation at Five Mile Hall.

Officials say the funds will reduce the County’s overall price tag on the project to just over $4 million. Reeve Leanne Beaupre says the funding will be a major boost to help sustain and develop the community.

“This funding plays a critical role in supporting our efforts to continue to meet key infrastructure needs for our citizens and region, especially due to financial pressures from COVID-19 and changes to our economic reality,” she adds.

The announcement comes just a week after the new Five Mile Hall school site was given the green light to start work on the installation of power and natural gas utilities to the land just off of Township Road 714.

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.

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.

It’s expected the work and subsequent servicing will be wrapped by Summer 2021. The funding is part of the Government of Alberta’s aim in helping Alberta communities recover from the economic challenges posed by COVID-19.