CALGARY – A Calgary school dedicated to educating students with special needs will soon be replaced.
The current Christine Meikle School, located in the community of Bridgeland, is more than fifty years old and wasn’t designed to serve students with complex special education needs.
For example, officials say the hallways and rooms are not large enough for the equipment and wheelchairs used by the students.
The Calgary Board of Education says a replacement facility will be built in Varsity Acres on a CBE-owned site that is zoned for educational purposes, west of 50th Street N.W. and north of Varna Crescent N.W.
“We received approval for this replacement facility when the Province of Alberta announced funding for modernization projects in January,” says Frank Coppinger, superintendent of facilities and environmental services.
Christine Meikle School provides educational programming for secondary school-age students who have moderate to severe developmental disabilities/delays with complex learning, medical and emotional needs.
Officials say the new site for the school is in a favourable location because of its proximity to the Alberta Children’s Hospital; many of the students at Christine Meikle School have the ongoing need for medical services and other supports.
“The school is extremely important to the students and families it serves and is a vital component in the CBE’s commitment to providing inclusive and personalized learning,” says Jeannie Everett, area one director.
However, not all area residents are embracing the plan.
“I’m definitely worried about what’s going to go on here for the next few years,” complains Cary Foster, who lives nearby. “We’re talking three years of construction, that’s not something that impresses me or that I would want in my community. It’s a big beautiful park, I use it every day. “
More information about the school and project plans is available on the CBE’s website. Construction could begin as early as November.