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Students, staff counting down the days to move to new Composite High School

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The move to the new Grande Prairie Composite High School is drawing closer by the day for students and staff.

Principal Dennis Vobeyda says that students have felt a growing excitement about starting the coming school year at the new facility.

“I’d say in the last four to six months that level has really picked up. Students would wander over to the new school, and take peeks through the window. Everybody’s excited to get inside the new building.”

While teachers and staff are also looking forward to it, there is still a lot of work to be done from now until when the school opens its doors in August.

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“I would say excitement with a little sprinkle of trepidation in some ways. From a staff perspective, there are so many things that need to be done prior to the end of the year,” says Vobeyda. “We’re still in the old building doing everything that we normally would do and on top of that we’re being asked to get everything moved over by the end of the school year.”

The $78.5 million building includes an oversized gym, video walls, large and spacious hallways, and lots of natural lighting.

“All of these different things are going to make the experience for our students and staff very pleasant. We’re still able to offer senior-level trades. In many ways, we’re able to expand and do more than we have before. It’s definitely exciting for the City of Grande Prairie and our community,” he says.

The old Composite High School was built in 1964 and is certainly showing its age, according to Vobeyda.

“Scaffolding has been quite literally holding up our roof. It predates me even. I’ve been here for the last seven years. That was put up close to twelve years ago,” he laughs.

The school received a lot of feedback from alumni regarding a potential farewell for the old campus.

“We thought it was a good opportunity to get something together for everyone. So many people have gone through the Composite High School if you’re from Grande Prairie. We’ve had some people tell us they’re planning on coming by in groups, which is always nice,” he says.

Vobeyda is grateful for teachers, members of the community, parents, and students doing what they can to make the big move easier for everyone.

“We really look forward to opening our doors, providing tours to the community, and welcoming our students for the upcoming school year.”

The farewell event to the old building is set for June 26th between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite. The school will take in about 1,600 students from Grade 9-12. Construction began on the building in November of 2019.

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