Sturgeon School Division Chair frustrated with movement on school site

by Morinville News Staff

In his report to the board May 27, Sturgeon School Division Chair Terry Jewell spoke of the site for the new middle school and the board’s aggressive pursual of a location.

“Basically what we are indicating is we are aggressively seeking a site to build a new [Grade] 5-9 with possible expansion to [Grade] 12 school in Morinville,” he said. “A small problem we have right now is we do not have a site. We’ve had a few meetings now with the Town – probably two directly in the last couple of months and one [a] year before and [a] year before that. For some reason, it seems slow in coming.”

Jewell went on to say that until a school site is designated to the division, the province will not release the $750,000 of planning funds promised tot he division.

“So it is why we are getting a bit excited not having a site, but [I] suppose everybody is working diligently to get there not been sitting around for the last six months wondering what is going on,” he said.

Jewell said he was concerned about getting a site soon so the division can start planning. The existing Morinville Public School is already at 100 per cent capacity. The board chair said six modulars are being added to the school just to cover off the expected enrollment growth for the upcoming year.

“There is another year after that where we could have no school ready, so [we] could need another four, five or six modulars,” Jewell said.

The chair said he will continue to work with the Town of Morinville in the hopes something comes up soon. But he is concerned that time is of the essence.

“The concern is always that it is now May and in about five weeks, not much staff will be around that can do a lot of planning and that kind of stuff,” Jewell said. “So it is becoming a concern to the board that we will be further and further behind.”

The proposed sites to date for the new public school are South Glens, Westwinds (north of No Frills) and consideration given to utilizing some of the land associated with the new Multi-Plex/Recreation Centre.

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