Plans to modernize G.P. Vanier begin

Georges P. Vanier School building in Donnelly will be modernized in the coming years as High Prairie School Division was recently approved for planning funds from the Government of Alberta.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The aging Georges P. Vanier School building in Donnelly will get an upgrade in the coming years with initial planning funds from the provincial government.

Vanier is one of 14 schools set for planning projects that will share $4 million designated in the provincial budget announced Feb. 28.

High Prairie School Division welcomes the news the government has advanced the Vanier project to the planning stage.

However, no specific funding amount has been allocated.

“The modernization of Vanier School has been on our board’s three-year capital plan for many years,” says Joy McGregor, who chairs the board.

“It is great to see this project moving ahead to the next stage.

“I hope we can see forward action to modernize the school.”

Vanier includes students from Grade 7-12.

Vanier was originally built in 1955 with the boiler house and was modernized in 1968 and 1969.

Supt. Laura Poloz agrees the project is long overdue.

“We will be working closely with our counterparts in Alberta Education to collaborate on the current stage of a school modernization,” Poloz says.

“As we eventually move forward, we will also be working with staff, students, parents and community members to inform the design and construction of a modernized Georges. P. Vanier School.”

Funds for planning will allow HPSD to conduct a site analysis and scope development activities, as defined by the government, Poloz says.

The planning stage will further clarify the anticipated project scope, a schedule for the project and cost to support site readiness.

During the planning process, HPSD will also create a functional plan, such as the size and type of classrooms, the kinds of Career and Technical Studies (CTS) programs to offer, gymnasium space and establish partnerships.

After the planning process, HPSD will wait for further direction from the Government of Alberta to determine the plans for the next steps and stage.

Enrolment at Vanier has remained similar in the past few years as 227 students were enrolled in the current school year on Sept. 30, the date of the official count.

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