A rural school near Sherwood Park is waiting to hear where its students will be taught in the coming years.


Colchester School will close when the Heartland Transmission line is brought on line in 2013. (Courtesy Colchester School)

Bill Suter, principal of Colchester Elementary School, intends to move his students to another school before the Heartland Transmission line is built nearby.

The approved route for the transmission line runs about 200 metres from the school, which worries parents about long-term health issues for their children.

"We surveyed (parents) online and 95 per cent said if the power line went in above-ground they would move their children out of the school," said Suter.

The decision by the Alberta Utilities Commission not to bury the line is under appeal.

School officials don't believe they have time to wait and now plan to move 185 students to a neighbouring school about seven kilometres away.

However, Fultonvale School, built about about 40 years ago, will require about $20 million in renovations to accomodate the new students, in essence making it a new school, said Suter.

That money needs to be approved by the province.

Suter said the plan is to move students over the summer of 2013, the same time the 500 kilovolt power line is expected to be brought on-line.