Okotoks Town Council approved the development permit application for Phase 1 of the downtown Arts and Learning Campus (Campus) project during their regular meeting April 27. The approval also directed administration to include a playground on the site. The details of a future playground will be determined by Parks staff and the project team. The Campus is a joint-partnership among the Town of Okotoks, Christ the Redeemer and Foothills School Divisions, Bow Valley College, the Okotoks Public Library and Community Futures Highwood.
“This is a significant, innovative and positive project for Okotoks that will increase vitality downtown and enhance our ability to offer post-secondary opportunities in the long-term,” said Mayor Bill Robertson. “Along with a future performing arts centre, this Campus captures a progressive, shared vision by creating a vital, multi-use facility which is a priority for the Town and our community,” said Mayor Robertson.
The first phase of construction will include a new building to accommodate an expanded Okotoks Public Library, and offices for Christ the Redeemer School Division. The current library building will be renovated to create space for Bow Valley College. Two new outdoor plazas with park space will also be part of this phase of construction. Construction is expected to start within the next several weeks.
“It is important that this project proceed, especially as the Town works towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Initiatives like this strengthen Okotoks’ future economic prosperity as well as create a vibrant space that anchors our downtown,” said Mayor Robertson.
The project cost is $24.3 million dollars. Council approved an $18.3 million budget amendment in May 2019 to enable construction of Phase 1, which will be funded by grants.
Related to this project, Council will be reviewing a bylaw this evening to ensure Ethel Tucker Centennial Park remains an important part of the Town’s future. The bylaw indicates that the park be maintained at the same size but in a slightly different location. The bylaw protects the legacy of Ethel Tucker and ensures the name Ethel Tucker Centennial Park is protected moving forward.
For more information on the Arts and Learning Campus project, please visit www.okotoks.ca/campus2020.