Okotoks’ Arts and Learning Campus will proceed to the detailed design stage after Council approved amendments to the multi-year project budget during the regular meeting November 25.
The campus is a joint partnership between Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools (CTR Catholic), Foothills School Division (FSD), Bow Valley College (BVC), the Okotoks Public Library and Community Futures Highwood who will be the main tenants. Limited retail opportunities will be included in the renovated library.
“This is a transformational project for Okotoks that will increase vitality for the downtown and enhance our ability to offer post-secondary opportunities in the long-term,” said Mayor Bill Robertson. “It will create a strong anchor for the downtown area and free up potential tax generating commercial space along Elizabeth Street, when these tenants relocate to the campus.”
The new library space will be double the size of the current location, providing increased services to the community.
Administration also presented a summary of the validation report indicating that the project’s cost will comply with the approved budget amount. The report indicated that the Town’s contribution would be reduced to $18.3 million over three years, most of which will come through grant funding.
“The validation process has been a very important component to Council approving the project,” said Robertson. “We wanted to ensure that the construction costs would fall within the budget approved in May.”
The project team will now begin work on the detailed design for the building and site. Over the next four months, stakeholders and the project team will work through the development approval process including land use bylaw amendments, parcel consolidation and completing applications for development and building permits.
Construction is expected to begin in March 2020 and be completed by July 2021, to meet the requirements of Bow Valley College and CTRCatholic.
The public will be invited to participate in decisions involving the green space around the campus and in the design of the public areas.