Calgary will get one new school and one modernization, plus funding for a host of schools at various development stages as a part of the Alberta budget.
Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Calgary at St. Gianna School Wednesday to provide more details on the funding announcement. She said the province announced the largest education budget in its history.
In that is $2.3 billion over three years to advance 58 school projects. The news release states that it will support 25,000 new and additional spaces for students (9,400 new and more than 15,500 upgrades spaces.)
“We are committed to building schools to help address enrollment growth, classroom complexity, and of course modernizing schools to support 21st Century Learning,” LaGrange said.
Calgary receives full funding for the modernization of the John G. Diefenbaker High School (Calgary Board of Education) and a new K-9 Catholic school in Nolan Hill.
Cathie Williams, board chair with the Calgary Catholic School District, said they were happy to see their number one priority school funded in the recent budget.
“With no current local school, the Catholic Nolan Hill students currently face ride times of up to 45 minutes to other schools,” she said.
“Given that the population and Calgary’s northwest developing communities is expected to double by 2024, this project required urgent attention.”
CBE board chair Laura Hack said the CBE is thrilled with the announcements made Wednesday.
“More than half of CBE schools are over 50 years old and require upgrades to ensure that students are learning in up-to-date environments,” Hack said.
“Modernizing schools enables them to offer more opportunities and career and technology studies, as well as science, technology, engineering and math.”
NDP critical of education neglect in Calgary
Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley posted to Twitter that Calgary is expecting 8,000 new students this fall.
“The UCP committed to ONE new school [sic],” Notley wrote.
“This comes after years of similar neglect. It’s either gross incompetence or just further evidence of completely ignoring this city.”
While Nolan Hill and the Diefenbaker modernization are the two funded for construction, LaGrange noted others in the pre-planning, planning and design stages. One Catholic high school in Rangeview got design funding, and a new CBE high school in Cornerstone got planning funding. CBE’s Annie Gale modernization also received planning funds. Six other schools got pre-planning funding.
- Modernization of AE Cross School (CBE)
- Modernization of Sir John A. Macdonald School
- New Saddle Ridge Middle School
- New elementary in Redstone (CCSD)
- New west Calgary high school (CCSD)
- Addition at Bishop McNally
“We’re very pleased to hear today that we’ll be receiving all four modernizations and two new planning and pre-planning for public schools within the CBE,” Hack said.
“This is good news and will be welcomed by all the communities of Huntington hills, Whitehorn, Glenbrook, Cornerstone and Saddle Ridge.”