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Crystal Park modernization tops public school division wish list

The modernization of Crystal Park School is top of the pile for the Grande Prairie Public School Division.

Superintendent Sandy McDonald says as part of the division’s three-year capital plan, which was approved by board members this past week, work on the nearly four-decade-old building is vital.

“It’s 38 years old, it’s never been modernized, it was purpose-built for programs in the community and school division that don’t really exist in that same way,” he says.

“The mechanical systems are all end of life and the school is really inefficient and will require a great deal of investment in the next little while.”

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McDonald says building a new school in the Kensington neighbourhood is second on the list, but not deemed nearly as high a priority. He says with expansions in the community expected over the next few years, they need to get into the planning stages of any possible builds.

“There are going to be close to 1,000 public school students in that area… approximately 640 of students will be kindergarten to grade 8,” he says.

“We know it’s not going to be needed for a few years yet, but the process in which you identify needs gets vetted by the province, which takes a few years.”

McDonald adds the closest school the Grande Prairie Public School Division has in the area, Isabel Campbell, which is in Pinnacle, is closing in on capacity, and will lack the ability to take in an influx of students that large.

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