County approves $298K to power future Five Mile school site

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The County of Grande Prairie is investing an additional $298,000 to prepare for the new Five Mile Hall school, extending power and natural gas utilities to the site.

County council approved the funding at its regular meeting last week.

Council previously tabled a $6.5 million borrowing bylaw in August to add water and sewer services at the site.

“We continue to see growth in the area, the schools are getting full, and we need more space for students,” said Nick Lapp, county planning director.

“The county has invested in the land to allow future growth.”

Alberta Infrastructure approved the construction of a new school in the area, to replace Harry Balfour School which offers kindergarten to Grade 8 classes in the city.

Darren Young, Peace Wapiti School Division (PWSD) deputy superintendent, told the News this summer it’s hoped construction will begin in the spring of 2021.

Last year, county council approved a $1.25 million borrowing bylaw to purchase 137 acres near Five Mile Hall, including the future school site.

Lapp noted the county envisions three schools and residential and commercial development in the Five Mile Hall area, furthering a need for more power.

Lapp said said power can be extended to the Five Mile Hall school site from the west, near Carriage Lane.

The additional expense for power and gas can be added to the previously proposed $6.5 million borrowing bylaw for water and sewer, Lapp said.

He said the bylaw hasn’t yet been approved.

Lapp said the water and sewer work may be tendered by the end of November.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News