As most community members know, Purcell International Education (PIE) has been working to build a world-class international boarding school in Kimberley for more than three years now. For much of that time, that effort has included a close working relationship with the Kimberley Golf Club and its members, the key features of which stem from the sale of the golf course lands to PIE. The terms of the sale were designed to be synergistic and mutually beneficial: PIE invested in capital improvements to the golf course and committed to the construction of at least four new golf holes to replace the existing holes (6, 7, 8, and 9) which have been designated for the construction of the Purcell Collegiate School campus.
Leading up to April of this year, the development plan for the school involved building adjacent to the golf course lands on a 5-acre parcel of land next to Marysville Falls. That plan would have seen the school operate in that location for up to five years before the golf course lands were developed for an expansion of the campus. Circumstances changed as the pandemic ran its course and an opportunity to realize the original vision for Purcell Collegiate School designed for and built on the golf course itself emerged as an alternative to building on the adjacent parcel.
As a result, PIE and the company it founded to build the school, Purcell Collegiate Incorporated (PCI), are pleased to announce that they are moving forward with construction of new holes for the golf course and a campus development on holes 6, 7, 8, and 9. Due to pandemic-related impacts on construction processes, the construction plans are being engaged contemporaneously instead of consecutively. That is to say, instead of building and completing the new holes prior to commencing the construction of the school, PIE and PCI are working closely with the Kimberley Golf Club to undertake simultaneous construction projects coordinated as follows:
- construction of two new golf holes and one new tee box (already underway) to be completed in time for the start of the 2022 golf season: 1) a permanent par 3 tentatively called “The Perch” located behind the 11th green; 2) a temporary par 3 tentatively called “The Nursery”, located adjacent to the 16th fairway; and 3) a temporary tee box for #12 located between the 11th green and the new “The Perch” green transforming #12 into a par 5;
- finalize design for a total of six new permanent holes and commence construction on three of them (one par 4, two par 5s) on the floodplain located below holes #12 and #13 adjacent to the St. Mary’s River to be completed in time for the start of the 2023 golf season; and
- commence construction of Purcell Collegiate School on holes 7 and 8 beginning October 12, 2021, the day after the course closes for the season toward opening the school in September 2023.
From an operational perspective at Purcell Golf, these plans will manifest as follows during the 2022 golf season:
- holes 7 and 8 will be replaced by “The Perch” and “The Nursery” and hole 12 will be extended to a par 5 to ensure and enable 18 holes of quality golf being in play at a par of 71;
- holes 7 and 8 will become an active construction site with special provisions in place to accommodate golfers, particularly on hole 6 where some netting will be required on the east side of the fairway and an access road built to cross it about 100 yards from the green; and
- construction of three permanent replacement holes will be taking place on the floodplain below holes 12 and 13 with construction access via a road west of the 14th tee box resulting in minimal to no disruption in play.
From the start of the 2023 golf season, the course will play as follows:
- the new flood-plain holes (par 4, par 5, par 5) will be ready for play and, along with “The Perch,” will comprise the four new holes required to replace those removed for the campus (6, 7, 8 and 9);
- hole #12 will revert to a par 4 and the course will play to a par of 71;
- hole #6 will be removed from play and incorporated into the construction plan for the school;
- hole #9 will be removed from play from the Lone Pine north and incorporated into the construction plan for the school; a 19th hole (par 3) from the Lone Pine or possibly the former 8th tee box to the 9th green will be added until such time as school expansion requires that land, creating a 19th hole; and
- the hole known as “The Nursery” may also be retained as an extra hole to permit refurbishment of other holes (TBD).
This plan supports an exciting and vibrant future for the Kimberley Golf Club at Purcell Golf that will ultimately lead to the addition of three more new holes, a new driving range, and eventually a new clubhouse. The completion of construction for and commencement of operations at Purcell Collegiate School is the key driver for this long-term vision to provide a world-class golf experience at small-town rates in the context of a 100-year-old membership club steeped in history and central to the culture of the golf course, the community, and the unique nature of the Purcell Collegiate campus.