Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools
Revised Three Year Capital Plan 2006 - 2009
Grande P rairie and District Catholic Schools’ Three Year Capital Plan is intended to deal with its
most urgent facility needs. The first 2 priorities arise out of 2 completely different sets of
circumstances and each is equally important in terms of educ ating the children of the District. Due
to the complex rural / urban nature of the District approval of multiple rural and urban projects are
necessary to ensure adequate classroom space for students.
Priorities also exist for modernizations and temporary portable classrooms to alleviate the space
issues faced by Grande Prairie schools. Modernizations have been deferred to meet the demand
for new school space. Although a new school was announced in Fall 2006, the opening of this
facility in 2008 will not alleviate the current over utilization issues in the City of Grande Prairie.
Thus a second school is urgently needed in the City of Grande Prairie.
New Construction/ Replacement
Project 1- St. Mary’s Sexsmith K-9 Replacement School (2006)
The school is essentially a portable school constructed in 1956 with an area of 990 m2.
According to the 2006 Infrastructure Audi t report the “…general condition of the
permanent school building is marginal” (page 2), with a Facility Condition Index (FCI) of
17.07%. The school is an old wood frame and portable facility constructed in a low lying area in
the town. The school has no Core and CTS space available. There has been no significant
modernization of the facility in 50 years and many items in the 2006 Audit are classified as either
failure or replacement.
The District has maintained the building with BQR and IMP funds but it is an old building.
Program requirements and continued enrollment pressures have resulted in the need to replace
the current facility with new construction and Modus port ables.
Location of this replacement facility would most likely be in the north end of the Town of Sexsmith
in an area called “Willow Estates” as it serves both the high growth area of the Town and the
surrounding County. The school meets the needs of many County students who are bussed in
from as far as TeeP ee Creek (30+ km to the north).
Philosophically, the Board of GP RCSSD #28 believes in the importance of the regional
elementary/junior high schools providing a family faith based education. The regional program
provides for a large enough student body to provide additional options, a well -rounded program –
including Knowledge and Employability, dual language programs and, with new construction,
The District’s intent is to replace the current school because the facility id regarded as “marginal”,
there is no space for construction or additional portabl es, and the school has health and safety
concerns due to its building envelop. The current portable school would be demolished onc e a
replacement school is constructed.
Based on a facility for 250 students the required space would be approximately 2536.7 m2. Up to
8 additional classrooms would be added to the new “replacement school ” using the Modus
portable conc ept. The community is now become the bedroom community of choic e for the
Grande P rairie area due in part to housing costs in Grande Prairie and the increasingly complex
nature of the City of Grande Prairie.
Project 2- New “Dual Core” Northwest K-6 Catholic School in
Grande Prairie (2006)
Grande P rairie is the fastest growing community within our jurisdiction and one of the fastest in
Canada. The 2004 Infrastructure study it predicted that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital would have
100 births per month in 2006. Staff in the hospital indicates that now the actual birth rate in the
past six months is at 150 live births per month creating an even greater need for increased school
capacity. There is no evidence to suggest the birth rate will fall form its current level. Currently
schools in Grande Prairie cannot meet the demand for a 100 live births/month. E ven with the
announcement of a 425 student school in the Southwest there will not be adequate school
capacity for the 2008 school year, the date in which the new facility will open.
Adding to the complexity, the modernized St. Gerard French Immersion School is at capacity
days after it opened in 2006. This year St. Joseph Catholic School (a Grade 9 -12 school) also
exceeds capacity (836 students in a facility designed for 860).
To accommodate the growth around Grande P rairie, the Board has applied to Alberta
Infrastructure to construct a K – 6 School in northwest Grande Prairie to alleviate current
pressures. The propos ed “dual core” school would be built to serve 275 English students and
275 French Immersion students in approximately 5697 m2.
The City of Grande Prairie has indicated its willingness to add additional dry gymnasium
space to meet the current dearth of recreation facilities in the City of Grande Prairie and a
new school announcement would help the Alberta government capitalize on this new
initiative. Consideration will be given to how we can work with other stakeholders in the
community to help meet Albert a Commission on Learning rec ommendation 20, “ That schools
become the centre of a wide range of coordinated, community servic es targeted at meeting the
needs of children and youth”.
The Division ha s requested permission to proceed with a stakeholder study for a
“dual core” school and the possible grade realignment in Grande Prairie Catholic Schools,
funded by Alberta Education. Specifically the study will examine the feasibility of shifting
the Grade 9 population from St. Joseph High School to elementary school and all other
Project 3 – St. Joseph Catholic High School Expansion (2008)
The partners in the Community Knowledge Campus have a Memorandum of Unde rstanding
relative to the Addition to St. Joseph Catholic High School in Grande Prairie. There is a need for
additional classroom space, performing arts space, gathering area, and a third station gym.
Additional 175 student spaces 700 m2
Additional Ancillary spaces 1079.75 m2
Project 4 - New K- 9 Clairmont Catholic School with provision
for 8 portables (2008)
Clairmont is a fast growing rural community within our jurisdiction. Predictions from the County
indicate that will also be t he largest within 5 years. Student in Clairmont are c urrently bussed into
Grande P rairie (Ecole St. Gerard or St. Clement) or Sexsmith. Approximately 100 students are
bussed to the various schools. Ecole St. Gerard, St. Clement and St. Mary’s Sexsmith are
exceeding current utilization rates, without considering th e Class Size Initiative.
To accommodate the growth around Grande Prairie, the Board has applied to Alberta
Infrastructure to construct a K - 9 School in Clairmont. The proposed school would be built to
serve 250 students in approximately 2550 square meters. The student population is projected to
be about 70% elementary and 30% junior high.
Consideration will be given t o how we c an construct a joint site facility with Peac e Wapiti School
Division and the County of Grande Prairie. This will ensure that we, as a School Board, work with
our stakeholders in the community to help meet Alberta Commission on Learning
recommendation 20, “ That schools become the centre of a wide range of coordinated,
community services targeted at meeting the needs of children and youth”.
The Di strict i s reque sting permission to proceed with a stakeholder study for the
Clairmont School, funded by Alberta Education.
Due to high growth in the City of Grande Prairie, many modernizations have been delay ed. St.
Patrick and Kateri Mission are each 25 years old and have not seen a modernization during their
life span. Kateri Mission’s original portables are 20 years old and in need of a replacement due to
age/ health concerns. St. Patrick’s Catholic School and St. Clement’s are unable to offer a
variety of CTS programming options due to a lack of CTS facilities and spac e.
In addition to spending BQR and IMR dollars, the Board has spent its own instructional and
capital reserves to meet its space and modernization demands. A facility for Junior Kindergarten
for students with special needs was constructed at St. Pat’s and will also be undert aken at Kateri
Mission this winter. In addition, students at Kateri Mission are currently being housed in
windowless storage rooms and demolished conference room spaces. Windowless spaces without
any access (either direct or indirect) should not be considered acceptable core learning
environments in Alberta Schools.
Project 1: St. Patrick Catholic School (Grande Prairie) 2007
Area of Modernization 2649.1 m2
Project 2: St. Thomas More Catholic School (Fairview) 2008
Area of Modernization 4286.3 m2
Project 3: Kateri Missi on Catholic School (Grande Prairie) 2009
Area of Modernization 4201.8 m2
Project 4: St. Clement Catholic School 2009
Area of Modernization 2588.4 m2
Portables (2006- 2009)
In September 2006, an emergent request was sent to Alberta Infrastructure/ Education for 2
additional Modus classrooms. This is in addition to the request for 10 portables scheduled to
arrive in July 2006 but not yet received/ constructed.
The Board has already had to delay its plans for Class Size Initiative, even tough it received the
funds to do so. To meet temporary demand for classroom space and the class size initiative the
Board is requesting that temporary portable classroom space be allocat ed to the following
2 Additional Modus Units (in addition to the 10 that were approved)
10 additional Modus Units
a. St. Clement (K-8) 1
b. St. Patrick (K-8) 2
c. Holy Cross (K-8) 2
d. Kateri Mission (K-8) 2
e. St. Gerard French Immersion (K-9) 2
f. St. Joseph 0
g. St. Mary’s Beaverlodge 1
2008 (Unknown at thi s Time)
Dependent on Phase II school announcements and the anticipated opening of a new school.