The operators of a proposed northeast Calgary school are hoping to get a council resolution to provide service under an airport flight path.
Bait un Nur Mosque in the community of Westwinds is proposing to offer a new school service inside the facility.
A private K-3 elementary school will be operated by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Schools System. It’s expected to have 30 students but will expand to 60 students over the course of three years. The school will utilize already existing facilities at the mosque.
The Mosque is already equipped with instructional classrooms, administration offices, washrooms, community kitchen, gymnasium, prayer halls, play area and library. Due to this, improvements to the interior layout aren’t necessary to establish a school.
“They’ve been offering religious service schooling to members of their community for over a decade, and they just want to continue to do that,” said Coun. George Chahal, who put forth a request for the exemption.
He said the mosque wants to formalize the relationship under the guidelines of Alberta Education to provide further educational services to community members.
He said the location of the mosque is right beside Prairie Winds Park and near the community of Castleridge.
We attempted to reach the mosque, but we didn’t receive a response.
Airport noise exposure forecast area
In April, the proposal for the school was rejected. That was due to the mosque falling under the Airport Vicinity Protection Area’s (AVPA) Noise Exposure Forecast.
This provincial legislation prohibits certain activities such as schools in areas of close proximity to the Calgary Airport.
Chahal said he doesn’t believe noise will be an issue for students attending.
“There’s a number of businesses and other schools that operate under the AVPA noise contour,” he said.
“I don’t see any issues or concerns.”
He said there are a number of schools and institutions that have been granted exemptions under the AVPA. As well, schools exist right under the flight path, such as the Heritage Christian Academy.
Chahal said the Mosque’s case should be an exemption the the act to allow the school to operate.
“It completely makes sense for the continuation of the community to use and gather for religious purposes but also for school as well,” he said.
A resolution will be put forth at tomorrow’s priority and finance committee meeting for approval.
If it’s successful, the resolution will push for an amendment to the AVPA for the school.