The City of Fort Saskatchewan has the green light to purchase land in Westpark, in preparation of a new school.
Council was approached by planning and development acting director, Dean McCartney to authorize the land purchase at the Tuesday (Feb.13) meeting. The land will house an elementary school in the future.
"We've been advised by the school boards that with our growing population we will need a new school in a very short time frame," said mayor Gale Katchur. "So this is really being a pro-active approach to ensuring that we have a parcel of land that will be suitable for the next school."
According to Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) a new school will be required by 2021.
The motion to approve the use of $149,904 from the unrestricted parks reserve to purchase 0.59 hectares of land (from Westpark Land Company Ltd.) was carried 6-0.
This additional 0.59 hectares increases the site to an area of 2.93 hectares, to provide space for a school with parking and loading areas, along with a playing field area.
Katchur emphasized the importance of posting signage on the parcel of land, to let people know that it is the future site of an elementary school.
"The big thing to remember whenever you're buying a home anywhere in any community, always check the land use zoning to see what's going in on the vacant park land," she said. "Many people sometimes feel they are buying beside a park, when actually it will become a school ground in the future."
Pryce Alderson Park is also designated as a school zone and if needed, a school could be built there.
Westpark's current population sits around 7,600 people, which is expected to grow to 11,000. Currently, 600 EIPS elementary students live in the area and this new school will prevent students from having to cross the highway to attend school in Southfort.
*Below is the location of the school.