More homework required for new public school, SSD says

Chair Tracy Nowak and Superintendent Dr. Michele Dick. – Lucie Roy Photo

by Lucie Roy

At the March 23 Sturgeon School Division Board Meeting Superintendent Dr. Michele Dick provided a recap of the school status meeting held earlier that day.

Dick provided a verbal summary and said the Mar. 23 meeting had representatives from Sturgeon School Division, Town of Morinville, Alberta Education Capital Planning, Alberta Infrastructure, Alberta Transportation and the project’s architect.

“The meeting was very productive, and [I am] pleased to say we are moving forward and working on a draft proposal that I think we all believe will meet the needs of siting the new school and allow us to move forward,” Dick said. “However, that said, there is still a great deal of work to be undertaken with regards to that proposal and everyone around the table continues to be committed to getting back to the design process, but there are definitely questions and homework we all have to do. That is what we are undertaking, and we certainly appreciate the ongoing support of Alberta Education, Infrastructure, and Transportation.”

Dick went on to say they are expecting to have some further information in the not so distant future and that they plan to have another meeting between Town, Division and government departments once additional information is gathered.

Dick is hoping the meeting will take place soon after the spring break, perhaps the middle of April.

Location remains the same?

The Mar. 23 meeting followed a brief Mar. 7 meeting between Town, Division and government departments, a response to a sit down between the Division, Town Council and the Minister of Education in mid-February regarding the existing site on the existing arena grounds.

“I think it would be fair to say that we are still looking at the same piece of land,” Dick said regarding the location of the proposed school. “I am not aware of any other land that has come forward for consideration.”

Dick said when they met with Alberta Transportation, the Department responsible for Highway 642, the focus was on the highway and what traffic impact assessments might show about the intersections of 100 Avenue at 107 Street and 104 Street, both within Town jurisdiction. The traffic impact is part of the information that needs to be gathered.

“Transportation was very clear, in the limited opportunities we’ve had to speak with them, that Highway 642 is their jurisdiction,” Dick said. “The Town is really clear on that as well, but in terms of traffic impact, I have heard the Town speak on traffic impact they have done in the past or that transportation has done in the past that suggests that the intersection of 107 and 642 is at a higher level of activity than 642 and 104. But what that looks like now and the school may or may not impact that is I think still to be determined.”

Dick said an alternate location is still in the gathering of information stage.

Sturgeon School Divisions Board and Morinville Town Council were to meet Apr. 6 for a second public meeting on the issue; however, Dick said she felt both Division and Council would need to reflect on the information presented during the Mar. 23 to determine a good date for the proposed joint meeting.

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