March 13, 2018 6:21 pm

North Calgary high school another step closer to reality

WATCH ABOVE: Dozens of people attended a rally on Sunday, March 11 in northeast Calgary demanding that a high school be built in that area. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, parents are frustrated that with a population over 100,000 people in north-central Calgary communities, they still don't have a high school in their neighbourhood.


A new high school intended for public school students in Calgary’s Northern Hills neighbourhood is another step closer to becoming reality after the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) passed its 2019-2022 capital plan on Tuesday afternoon.

The approval means the plan, which ranks a new secondary school for north Calgary at No. 3 in order of priority, will be sent to the provincial government as it considers projects to be funded starting in the 2019 budget year.

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“Education is an investment in our future, it is an investment in society, and it is something that needs to be supported in good times and in bad,” CBE board chair Trina Hurdman said.

READ MORE: 10 new schools, 12 major modernizations proposed for Calgary public schools

Last weekend, close to 100 people attended a rally to express their frustrations with the long delay in getting a high school built in the community of the Northern Hills.

Parents said it doesn’t make sense that they don’t have a high school, given the north-central area of Calgary has a population of over 100,000 people.

“My kids were four and seven when I started a campaign for north high school,” said David Hartwick, vice-president of the Northern Hills Community Association.

“My daughter graduates high school this year. She’s actually graduating from Notre Dame High School. She went to Crescent Heights for Grade 10 and that had such an impact on her that she decided she needed something that was closer to home and had the opportunity to switch school systems,” he said.

READ MORE: Calgary parents protest delays in building a north-central high school

Ward trustee Althea Adams said she understands the frustration for families who call the Northern Hills home and the long delay in getting a high school built.

With the plan now passed, work will begin to lobby the provincial government to get it on their radar for the next budget cycle.

“This is our 2019 capital plan, so this does reflect our needs for next year,” Adams said. “That’s really important for parents to understand. A spring announcement is probably going to be based on our 2018 capital plan, not our 2019 capital plan.”

“There’s going to be a little bit more patience but I’m absolutely thrilled that we’re number three, and we’re just going to keep on advocating for all our schools.”

However, the Notley government has indicated that dollars for public sector capital projects might start to shrink in the coming months. In the speech from the throne, the government said it was planning to reduce capital spending starting with next week’s provincial budget for 2018.

– With files from Carolyn Kury de Castillo

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