Parents raise concerns over joint-use school planned for Argyle site in Regina

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WATCH: The joint-use school slated for Regina's Lakeview area is raising concerns among some parents – Jun 26, 2019

It’s no secret École St. Pius X is in a state of disrepair, but plans to combine the Lakeview school with Argyle Elementary School into one joint-use facility aren’t sitting well with some.

In March, the province announced funding for joint-use schools and building new facilities in the province as part of its budget.

READ MORE: New schools, hospitals included in Saskatchewan budget

In a statement, the Ministry of Education told Global News the new school will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 students.

“The proposed joint-use school will be designed to accommodate 400 students per school, with room to accommodate an additional 100 students per school. The shared-use project was submitted as a joint application from both school divisions,” media relations consultant Chris Hodges said.

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But some parents are concerned their kids will lose that close-knit atmosphere at their current neighbourhood school.

“We all know one another and we feel that’s going to be lost and that’s part of the fabric of this community that you can’t get back once that’s gone,” École St. Pius X Catholic school community council (CSCC) spokesperson Colleen Silverthorn said.

READ MORE: Regina elementary school more costly to renovate than rebuild

“You don’t get that kind of community at these massive joint-use schools with 1,000 students.”

Currently, Regina has four joint-use schools, which Regina Catholic Schools say have been a positive addition to the community.

“The principals work very closely with one another, there’s a daycare and community centre in the middle, so I think in some ways it can add to that sense of community,” Regina Catholic Schools spokesperson Twylla West said.

Right now, the Argyle site is the proposed location for the new school. Over the past six months, Silverthorn says the council has met with different levels of government who says its looking to acquire land to accommodate staff parking.

READ MORE: First joint-use school opens in Regina

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“The site that they’ve chosen is the south end of Kinsmen Park,” Silverthorn said. “It’s a green space and as parents, as community members, we feel strongly that we don’t want any more green space appropriated for commercial use, but for a parking lot especially.”

Students, Silverthorn added, also work closely with the church next door.

“There’s just a really close relationship with the church that can’t be replicated when you’re moved off-site,” Silverthorn said.

While nothing is set in stone, the province says it’s still in the planning stages and there is no timeline set for an opening date.

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