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Francophone Community Celebrates New School Building

École des Quatre-Vents | Peace River, AB




On May 3, members of the École des Quatre-Vents community, parents, valued partners and special guests will celebrate the official inauguration of their new school building in Peace River.


The inauguration ceremony represents the culmination of the many efforts that went into building the new school, and it embodies the starting point of a promising future for the Francophone K-12 school.


The new school opened its doors to students and staff on October 12, 2023, and over 100 students were welcomed into an environment that stimulates and promotes learning and growth.


The modern and colourful $24.2 million facility boasts bright installations, as well as a preschool and community flex room, which was funded through a $1.85 million grant from the Canadian government.




This new building is designed to accommodate a diverse range of optional courses, such as carpentry, mechanics, cooking and music, and provides the necessary infrastructure to meet the needs of the Francophone students in the region.


Marking the end of an era, demolition work on the old school building, which was built in 1976 by the Peace River School Division (PRSD), began in March, and the space was developed into a new playground.


Formally known as McGrath Elementary School, the Conseil Scolaire du Nord-Ouest (CSNO) obtained ownership from PRSD in 2006 to meet the growing needs of École des Quatre-Vents, which was using portable classrooms south of Springfield Elementary School to host their expanding student population.


With the inclusion of secondary programming, the old building failed to meet the needs of the student body, leading the CSNO to advocate for a modernization project.



Following extensive studies, the Government of Alberta and the Ministries of Education and Infrastructure announced in November 2019 that the best course of action was to construct a new building to fill many gaps such as accessibility issues, access to a quality gymnasium and to meet the needs of the unique and vibrant Francophone school community.


This news created a wave of excitement and celebration from the CSNO, students, parents and community members.


Many stakeholders collaborated to bring this project to fruition, including the architectural firm Stantec, which helped make the school board’s vision a reality. The ACFA de Rivière-la-Paix also played a role in bringing the project to life, and GenMec ACL worked diligently on this major construction endeavor.


The CSNO would like to thank students and parents for their continued support over the years, their perseverance in obtaining this project, and the countless hours of advocacy by the school board and the École des Quatre-Vents community.


The official inaugural celebration was made possible by relentless efforts of collaboration, commitment and the continued support of the Francophone educational mission.


 

By Dani Wearden | Photography submitted

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