Following the results of study, research, and growth, the Calgary Board of Education has announced major upgrades to 12 schools and proposed 10 new schools around the city. These suggestions and proposals were submitted to the trustees of the CBE for approval earlier this year. The board quickly ratified the proposal and sent it to the province of Alberta for review and approval.
The review process, which takes 12 months, will allow Alberta to plan for budgetary changes, review the proposals, visit the sites mentioned in the announcement and make their final decision in March 2019.
They will conduct some evaluations of the sites we’ve submitted and then a year later announce what schools they’re approving and modernizations they’re approving.” said spokesperson for the CBE, Dany Breton.
The CBE 2019-2022 capital plan is a major upgrade for much-needed improvements to certain schools and communities around the city. Several new elementary schools are included in the proposal, relieving some of the burden of school children in newer communities like Auburn Bay, Evanston and Sage Hill. According to the current Calgary census data, Auburn Bay has the most preschool-aged children per community, with Evanston and Sage Hill also high on that list. In a few years, those students will need an elementary school that does not yet exist.
Other plans include upgrades and modernizations to existing schools. John G Diefenbaker High School is one of 12 schools slated for those modernizations. $27 million worth of renovations are being proposed to the aging school including much-needed upgrades to the building’s structure, a converted library to a learning commons, new career and technology spaces, and removal of hazardous materials that are undisturbed in the structure.
“While we’re opening up walls and changing things around, that’s the ideal time to be investing in significant maintenance on the facility” says Breton of the 2019 Diefenbaker upgrades.
At the moment, Diefenbaker has 1800 enrolled students from the area and is the only proximal public high school catering to the north of Calgary. Should all eligible students attend the school, it would be operating at 274% capacity.
That’s why another proposal included on the CBE list is a massive $59 million high school in Coventry Hills on a 24 acre site, the suggested North Calgary High School. This new school would help ease that burden and educate 1800 more students from around the communities there.
If all the suggested proposals are approved by the province of Alberta, it would mean $400 million worth of education investments into the city’s future planning.