A motion to explore re-development options for the municipal land on Riverside Drive to include a downtown arts and learning campus was approved by Town Council this past Monday.

Elaine Vincent, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Okotoks, says administration will explore the options and bring them back to Council.

"We could have new buildings, or re-purpose the buildings, there could be phasing and scaling. First step in the process is to make sure that the land is suitable for that type of mass and scaling, and that's what needs to come back to council for February 25th," she said.

Vincent says this strategy aims to help complete the community with the addition of a post secondary educational institution.

"This was a way to help us get post secondary in our downtown on a long-term basis. That allowed for opportunities of sharing learning space with the library. If we can co-locate those and achieve the same objective, and still have a great user experience, we'll explore those options first," she said.

Vincent adds park space will remain a crucial component in the proposed development.

"Council passed a resolution that says the size of the green space along Riverside Drive must be maintained. Park space is an important piece for access to the river, and park space has to be a component of what it looks like in the end," she said.

The multi-purpose campus will open opportunities for potential partnerships with local school boards, discussions of leasing options with Bow Valley College, and exploring cost-sharing alternatives with the Okotoks Library.

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