Calgary residents rally for new high school in north end

WATCH: North Calgary residents held a rally on Sunday calling for a new high school in the area. Doug Vaessen reports.

A rally was held in Calgary’s north end on Sunday as advocates called for a new high school in the area.

The former NDP government approved design funding for the school, but there is still a long way to go before it is built.

READ MORE: North Calgary high school another step closer to reality

Parents said students who live in the Northern Hills neighbourhoods of Harvest Hills, Coventry Hills and Panorama Hills have to go as far as Crescent Heights in the inner city.

“It’s about an hour in the morning to get down there; that’s too much for a high school student that wants to do sports after school or have a job after school,” rally organizer Andrew Yule said.

The Northern Hill Community Association has been lobbying for 15 years to get a new secondary school built in the area to accommodate the growing population.

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“All of our kids get bused out to other communities and when you think about the toll that it takes on them, they’re deprived of their sleep, it has health impacts, it impacts their learning — it’s just not right,” Ward 3 Coun. Jyoti Gondek said.

READ MORE: Parents in north Calgary get first look at design plans for new high school

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) held an open house to showcase renderings of what is being called the North Calgary High School.

The school, which will potentially be built on Coventry Hills Way Northeast has been in one form of planning or another for over a decade.

“I graduated in 2004 and that’s when it hit the CBE plan and it hasn’t been built since,” Yule said. “My kids are at the point where they’re now going to be in high school so it’s been a long time,” Yule said.

“It’s been way too long and it’s our turn.”

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The school has made it into the top three on the province’s priority list but is still years away from completion, even if funding is granted this year.

“The conservatives have told us that it is a priority for them to make sure we get infrastructure in place for communities like ours,” Gondek said.

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“I do know three MLAs that represent this area are very actively interested in making sure this comes to be, but they’ll have to convince their colleagues that it’s a priority right now during an austerity budget.”

In June, CBE trustee Althea Adams said she was expecting a funding announcement from the provincial government sometime this fall.