The development permit application submitted Berry Architecture & Associates on behalf of Purcell International Education Ltd. has been approved by Kimberley City Council, a long awaited step forward for phase one of the Purcell Collegiate International Boarding School to be constructed on part of the Purcell Golf property.
Now that Council has approved the development permit, the project is able to continue on to the building permit review stage, which does not involve further decision or review from Council. The permit is issued once staff confirm the detailed project plans comply with all provincial building codes and municipal bylaw requirements.
Phase one of the project encompasses the principle academic buildings, including multiple classrooms and learning areas, the gymnasium, student housing, a commercial kitchen and dining hall areas.
Kimberley’s Manager of Planning Troy Pollock told Council at their regular meeting on Monday, April 25, that this phase totals an area of around 10,000 square metres, or 110,000 square feet — the largest facility built in Kimberley in some time.
There are also various outdoor learning spaces, playing fields and a landscaped area. Phase one of the campus is designed for an initial intake of 150 students and to allow for the future expansion of additional student housing and classroom spaces to eventually accommodate up to around 300 students.
Phase two of the project, located south of the phase one campus, will include additional sports and play fields and will be considered under a separate future development permit application.
Pollock reminded Council that with the buildings planned to be constructed this spring, Purcell’s golf holes seven and eight will be closed to allow for construction, and eventually as construction expands holes six and nine will be replaced by holes constructed last summer.
“All in all the proposed development plan and the building design aligns with the objectives and design guidelines of the official community plan,” Pollock said. “And a number of different design strategies that they’ve incorporated into their plan that make for a very attractive, functional and accessible building.”
He explained that the proposed site and building plans comply with zoning requirements and issues like building heights, floor-space ratio and parking requirements are all satisfied by the building.
The close proximity of the site to existing infrastructure allows for efficient extension of utilities and road connections, with all vehicle access for staff, visitors and deliveries to the campus to come from St. Mary Lake Road in order to minimize direct traffic or parking impacts to nearby property owners.
As part of their development permit review process the proponents were required to do a traffic impact assessment, which has been completed and its findings accepted by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Berry Architecture & Associates has committed to install illumination lighting at the intersection of St. Mary Lake Road and Highway 95A and have also committed to build an accessible sidewalk link connecting the campus area to the Marysville commercial area by October 26 — prior to the predicted occupancy of the expanded student housing area.
The proposed campus will also have two connections to the municipal water system and will connect to the municipal sewer system down 302 Avenue, close to the site of the proposed waste water treatment facility.