On Monday, parents in Morinville were notified by the Sturgeon School Division that plans for new public junior high school had been suspended.

“I just went home and cried all afternoon,” said Morinville school council chair Sarah Hall.

The provincial government had announced over a year ago that it would fund planning for the project.

“To hear that everything had stopped was definitely just crushing,” she said.

According to Hall the school division partially blamed the town for not meeting provincial regulations in areas like traffic access.

“There are certain things that the Alberta [government] requires for a school site to be built and none of them are working with the current site that we have,” Hall explained.

Currently 700 students attend Morinville Public School – next year around 200 more are expected to enrol.

According to the division, if a new school isn’t built within a couple of years, hundreds of students will be bused to other communities.

“Once they get bused, not all to the same school…they stop knowing each other as [a] community,” said parent Stacey Buga.

While no definitive timeline has been set, the town of Morinville has plans for a new recreation centre which would see the old arena demolished and help ease some of the concerns the province has with the current site.

Morinville mayor Lisa Holmes insists the new school project isn’t dead.

“It’s unbelievably important,” she said.

“As a parent, my kids go to Morinville Public School and I know what it feels like to not know where your kids [will] go to school in the next couple of years.”

Town council will be discussing the issue at a meeting on Tuesday.

With files from Kim Smith