SGCHS Construction Delays Update

19
Advocacy, Alberta Education, Budget, Construction, Facilities, Government, High School, Spruce Grove Composite High School

In a decisive move, the Parkland School Division’s (PSD) Board of Trustees unanimously passed a recommendation during their June 18th Regular Board Meeting, addressing the complications surrounding the construction of the new $100 million dollar Spruce Grove Composite High School (SGCHS).

The resolution emphasizes the need to separate the Horizon Stage replacement costs from the construction consent process. The Horizon Stage is a jointly owned asset of PSD and the City on land that is 75% owned by PSD and 25% by the City. The school is over capacity and enrolment is expected to grow. The new school is required to meet the needs of a growing community. The school has been the top capital priority for PSD since 2015.

Minister of Education's Position

In a recent letter from the Minister of Education, it was clarified that the $100 million new school construction project requires resolving complications related to land ownership and Horizon Stage ownership. "I understand the site plan currently being developed by the project architect would have the replacement school built on 'Site B Lands' as defined in the 1989 agreement, but that no construction may take place on this portion of the site without the City of Spruce Grove’s written consent,” the Minister Demetrios Nicolaides stated in the letter. “I also understand that the theatre itself is partially owned by the City of Spruce Grove and its demolition (as currently contemplated in the project scope) may also require the City of Spruce Grove’s consent."

Board's Commitment to Horizon Stage Advocacy

The Board of Trustees outlined their steadfast support for the Horizon Stage replacement through the following actions:

  • Advocacy for Funding: PSD sent a letter to the Minister of Education requesting $5 million for the replacement of Horizon Stage.
  • Design Considerations: The new school's design includes provisions for potentially adding Horizon Stage on site.
  • Negotiations on Land Ownership: The Board has directed their Superintendent to enter negotiations to address the land ownership barrier, including financial remediation.

Engagement with the City of Spruce Grove

The Board has actively engaged with the City of Spruce Grove to expedite the matter. They have received a letter from the City, which provides conditional consent for the construction of the new SGCHS, provided that funding for the Horizon Stage replacement is secured. "The City of Spruce Grove is pleased to consent to the construction of the new Spruce Grove Composite High School on the Site B Lands and to the alteration of the Site B Improvements pursuant to Section 5.4 of the MOA on the condition that the Province agrees to provide funding to replace the Horizon Stage,” Dean Screpnek, City Manager of Spruce Grove, stated. “The funding to replace the Horizon Stage is currently projected at approximately $5 million, but this amount is subject to change."

Resolution Passed by the Board

The Board has already been instructed that the $5 million required for the Horizon Stage build is not forthcoming from the government. This leaves PSD and the City of Spruce Grove at a crossroads, and the resolution passed by the Board mandates that the administration and the Board Chair actively and transparently communicate with all stakeholders about the circumstances and seek their support in advocating to the City of Spruce Grove to sever Horizon Stage from the consent required for SGCHS construction. Read the full resolution:

Whereas Parkland School Division has supported the Horizon Stage advocacy in the following ways:

    • We sent a letter to the Minister of Ed for $5 million for the replacement of Horizon Stage
    • We designed the new school with the possible addition of Horizon Stage on site
    • We have instructed our Superintendent to enter into negotiations to remove the land ownership barrier, this included financial remediation 

And Whereas

    • We have received letter from the Minister of Education advising that further consideration of the $100 million dollar new school construction requires resolution of the complications related to the land ownership and Horizon Stage ownership
    • We have met with the City of Spruce Grove council to discuss the urgency of this matter 
    • We received a letter from the City providing “consent to the construction of the new Spruce Grove Composite High School on the condition that the Province agrees to provide funding to replace the Horizon Stage, currently projected at $5 million.

Be it resolved that the board instruct administration and Board Chair to actively and transparently advise all stakeholders by written communication of the circumstances and request support for our further advocacy to the City of Spruce Grove to sever Horizon Stage from consent to construct SGCHS.
Further be resolved that Trustees take appropriate action to bring public awareness to this issue.

Enrolment projections indicate steady and significant population growth in the City of Spruce Grove. The Division, therefore, maintains that It is essential to address space constraints to accommodate current and future student needs and projected enrolment growth. 

The Spruce Grove Composite High School replacement project has been a priority since it appeared on the division capital plan requests. For a complete timeline and all the information related to the replacement school project visit: https://sgchs.psd.ca/about/replacement-school-project.

If you have questions, please contact board@psd.ca 

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