Edmonton’s Catholic and public school boards approve capital plans

File photo of a classroom.,. Global News

Trustees for both the Edmonton Catholic School District (ECSD) and Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) voted to approve capital plans on Tuesday and both boards continue to emphasize the need for more schools in the city, each underscoring the need for new high schools in particular.

Edmonton Catholic Schools

“The Edmonton Catholic School District is in serious need of new schools,” Terry Harris, the board chair for the ECSD, said in a news release. “In the last 10 years, ECSD enrolment has risen by 31 per cent and is the most significant growth of any metro board in Alberta.

“However, as a percentage of that growth, we have received the fewest new student spaces of any Metro board in the province.”

The ECSD’s 2019-2022 capital plan calls for a new high school that can host up to 1,200 students for the southwest community of Heritage Valley. The school is ranked third on the ECSD’s priority list.

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Other priorities highlighted in the ECSD capital plan are a new K-9 school for Windermere/Keswick (K-9). That school is listed as its top priority and the cost of building it is estimated at $38.7 million. A Lewis Farms High School Academic Centre is listed as the second priority and construction costs for it are pegged at $19 million. A K-6 school in Lewis Farms/Secord is listed as the No. 4 priority and estimated to cost $25 million.

“Nearby schools serving the Windermere/Keswick and Lewis Farms/Secord neighborhoods are at capacity today,” the ECSD said, adding the utilization rate in those areas is expected to continue to grow.

The ECSD also listed the modernization of St. Alphonsus School (K-9 school) as a priority, saying the inner-city facility “requires extensive structural updates.”

The ECSD plan also calls for a major modernization of the district’s oldest school, Grandin School (K-6).

“Enrolment projections for our district forecast an increase of 5,000 students in the next five years,” Joan Carr, superintendent of the ECSD, said in a news release. “New schools and modernizations keep families in their community and ensures that we can support the needs of all students.”

READ MORE: Alberta NDP announces funding for 2 Edmonton Catholic school projects

View the ECSD’s capital plan in its entirety below.

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Edmonton Public Schools

In the EPSB’s capital plan, the district’s top entry on its new construction priority list is a new high school in the southeast community The Meadows. The cost of building the school is estimated at $79 million.

“It currently sits as the first priority on the plan,” the capital plan reads. “A high school in The Meadows will help relieve existing and future pressures on high schools to accommodate students in south Edmonton.”

The EPSB plan also acknowledges growing demand for more school capacity in west Edmonton, saying “the current rate of development has been significantly higher in south Edmonton when compared to other areas of the city.”

The No. 2 and No. 3 year-one priorities for new construction for the EPSB are K-9 schools in Chappelle East, estimated to cost $28 million, and Keswick, estimated to cost $31 million.

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The EPSB plan also calls for a new high school in Glenridding Heights as a year-one request. The school would host about 1,600 students in Grades 10-12. The cost of building the school is estimated at $58 million. That school is listed as fourth on the board’s new construction priority list for year-one.

To view the EPSB’s capital plan in its entirety, click here.

READ MORE: New 1,800-student high school to be built in southwest Edmonton

Watch below: On Nov. 17, 2017, Tom Vernon filed this report after Alberta’s premier announced a new high school would be built for a fast-growing corner of Edmonton.

Click to play video: 'Southwest Edmonton gets new high school' Southwest Edmonton gets new high school
Southwest Edmonton gets new high school – Nov 17, 2017

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