by Colin Smith
Morinville News Correspondent

A site near the Ray McDonald arena still appears the most likely place for Morinville’s planned public 5-9 school project, following a Mar. 23 meeting of the concerned parties.

“Yesterday’s meeting was very productive,” Greg Hofmann, the Town’s director of planning and development, told Morinville News.

“Based on the discussions that took place, we are working on a proposal that would meet the needs of siting the new school at the Ray McDonald site and allow all parties to move forward.”

As well as the Town of Morinville and Sturgeon School Division, the meeting was attended by representatives of Alberta Education, Infrastructure and Transportation, as well as the project architect.

“Everyone involved is committed to making this new school a reality,” Hofmann said. “The ongoing support of Alberta Education, Infrastructure and Transportation is appreciated.”

Sturgeon School Division Superintendent Michele Dick also described the meeting as productive.

“At this time we are working on a proposal that I think would meet the needs of siting the new school and allow us to move forward,” Dick said. “However, there is still a great deal of work to be done.”

“I continue to be confident that everyone around the table is committed to getting back to the design process and that the items identified yesterday for further follow up will assist us in that regard.”

She said more specifics will be available “in the not-too-distant future.”

Construction is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete once construction begins.

The location of the $25 million school has been a matter of contention since shortly after the provincial government approved funding for its construction.

Problems with the Town’s proposed Ray McDonald Arena site pointed out by Sturgeon School Division, resulted in the suspension of the design process.

Yesterday’s meeting follows one in February with Alberta Education Minister David Eggen and a Mar. 7 meeting involving the three government departments.

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