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New high school to help balance overcrowding: Calgary Board of Education

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) chairperson said a new school in North Calgary will help solve overcrowding issues in high schools across the city.

On Friday, the province announced North Calgary is finally getting its much-needed high school.

RELATED: North Calgary high school funding included in Alberta budget

Within the next five years, the CBE projections show 10 high schools will be operating between 100 and 150 per cent of their capacity. Seven high schools will be operating between 50 and 85 per cent of their capacity. 

The CBE is currently asking for input on how they can balance student enrolment across high schools in the city.

CBE Board Chair Marilyn Dennis said in a press conference Friday they’re currently undergoing the largest engagement ever done by the CBE. They’re looking at all 20 of their high schools – along with the newly announced location – to balance enrolment.

“So really what we’re trying to get to is that sweet spot of about 85 percent occupancy. That 85 per cent utilization rate in high schools gives our system system the best opportunity to provide reasonable class sizes, options for programming, access to programming for students from across the city…,” she said.

Results of that engagement are expected in October 2021. A plan will be launched in September 2022.

Can’t do it all in one budget, minister said

Meanwhile, Alberta’s Minister of Education said they’re working on building schools where “hotspots” are.

“We realize we need to invest in education, we need to invest in schools. We need to especially address areas where there’s perhaps more hotspots in another area in terms of enrolment growth,” said minister Adriana LaGrange.

“Obviously, we can’t do it all in one budget. But this is an investment that we’re going to continue to make on a year by year basis.”

In total, 15 new schools will be built across the province, with high schools in Calgary and Edmonton. Of 25 new school projects, Six schools will be replaced and four others will be modernized, according to the province.