Stratford Town Council has approved a motion to spend $2.5 million on land for a future community campus.
The vote took place during the town's monthly council meeting on Wednesday night. All voted in favour of a supplementary capital budget to enable a formal offer to be made on two properties located between Bunbury Road and the Stratford Business Park.
"This has been identified as something the community wants," Coun. Jill Burridge, chair of the community campus committee, told Island Morning's Mitch Cormier.
"We did do a tax increase of one cent over two years and with that, that's going to be able to cover this purchase for the land."
Burridge said the plan is to eventually sell a portion of that property to the province for a possible high school and another chunk to the Business Park, bringing the net cost of the project to around $1.6 million.
"I think we started with the idea in 2016," she said.
"We've had a game plan for a long time so we're going to continue working through it."
During public consultations in 2018, ideas for a new community campus included an ice rink, skating oval, running track, four baseball fields and a high school.
Stratford, P.E.I.'s third largest community, has long wanted its own high school so students don't have to travel across the Hillsborough River to Charlottetown.
Burridge said once the purchase is formalized, the next steps would be rezoning the 68 hectares of land and more public consultations to decide which of the options are feasible.
"That's going to be clear to the residents and they're going to make the decision on, you know, how aggressive we want to go at this," she said.
"We do have immediate needs, Ballfields are stretched at this point, ice surface is stretched at this point. So these are things that we do have to talk about and see what we can afford."
And while Burridge doesn't have the answers yet on a completion date or how long it will take to make back some of the money, she said they will be sitting down with the province soon and hopes to get more clarity then.
"There's been lots of conversation on it, there's been lots of work put towards it, we've looked at this from every angle," she said.
"I wouldn't be pushing it if I didn't feel it was a good investment for the town."
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