Penhold is set to get a new middle school over the coming years, with plans to open in the fall of 2025.
At an announcement at the old Penhold Elementary School Tuesday, government officials as well as representatives from the Chinook’s Edge School division showed off plans for the new school to a few prospective students. Construction is expected to begin in late summer or early fall.
The new school, named Penhold Wasaksoo Middle School will accommodate 560 grades 4 to 8 students and replace Penhold Elementary School. It will be built south of Penhold Crossing Secondary School.
“Chinook’s Edge is extremely happy with the announcement of construction funding for the new school for Penhold,” said Holly Bilton, board chair, Chinook’s Edge School Division.
“Not only will it address the capacity issue for the community, but it will replace a facility that is at the end of its life cycle. The new facility will be located south of the current Penhold Crossing School giving it access to wonderful amenities – truly an ideal location for the growing community of Penhold.
“We are very excited about the project and its positive impact on our students and their learning.”
There was a note of nostalgia for Penhold Mayor Mike Yargeau at Tuesday’s announcement. He attended Penhold Elementary, as did his sisters. Despite the family history, he will be happy to see the new school come to fruition.
“There’s a lot of Yargeau history in these walls, it will be sad when it’s no longer here but at the same time, I’m probably happy that my youngest kids won’t be going to the same school I went to,” he said.
“It’s been important for our community. Any time a community can get a new school — the impact it has on your growth and your ability to keep younger people in your community, can’t be overstated.”
In March of 2022, the new school got design funding from the provincial government for the replacement school. Architect designs were finished in January of this year and on March 1, funding for the new school was officially announced.
The Penhold school project was approved for construction funding as part of Budget 2023’s province-wide school capital announcement in March.
“I am absolutely thrilled that the Penhold replacement school was approved for full construction funding and will be moving forward soon,” added Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors and MLA for Innisfail– Sylvan Lake.
“I have been a strong advocate for this project, as Penhold students deserve to learn in a world-class facility.”