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Supporting a Mature Community With a Replacement School

Thu, 17 Apr, 2014

News: Supporting a Mature Community with a Replacement School

BACKGROUND

On January 21, 2014, the Province announced the District will be receiving a replacement school in a mature community. To qualify for this unique opportunity, we will be combining three older schools and replacing them with a new or modernized school. The potential location of the replacement school must be determined by the end of June 2014.

The areas being considered to receive a replacement school include: the Greater Highlands area, the Greater Lawton area and the Greater Westmount area. 

Watch this video to learn about our challenges with space for students across the District and the process for determining which community should be selected to received the replacement school 

Watch the video below to hear Superintendent Darrel Robertson talk about revitalization, the importance of planning for the future and why involving the community is a critical part of the process. 

HOW DECISIONS WILL BE MADE

SELECTING AREAS FOR CONSIDERATION

To benefit from this opportunity, schools needed to be: 

  • 50 years or older
  • costly to operate, maintain or repair due to aging buildings
  • unlikely to receive money for upgrades from the Province due to the low number of students 
  • located near other schools
  • located in areas where few school-aged students live

The Greater Highlands area, the Greater Lawton area and the Greater Westmount area meet these criteria.

FIRST PUBLIC MEETINGS

In April, we hosted our first round of public consultation meetings. You shared your questions, concerns and feedback about:

  • the design of the replacement school
  • the programs you'd like to see offered
  • the community supports that could be incorporated

This helped us understand what you'd like to see in a school that not only provides the best learning space for students, but also serves as a community hub.

BUILDING ASSESSMENTS AND INSPECTIONS

We completed assessments and physical inspections of the schools to determine:

  • the condition of the buildings
  • the estimated costs to renovate an existing school or build a new school
  • transportation considerations (e.g., parking, traffic, bus service and roadway infrastructure)
  • the best site to accommodate a replacement school

SECOND PUBLIC MEETINGS

We used your feedback from the online survey and first public meetings, as well as the building assessments and inspections to develop draft options. We gathered your feedback about those options at the second round of public meetings in May and through another online survey.

FINAL PUBLIC MEETINGS, JUNE 18

Thank you for joining the conversation and participating in the replacement school consultations. On June 18, we met with each community to discuss the recommendation of Greater Lawton as the area to receive the replacement school and next steps.

‌‌Timeline Graphic - Final

RECOMMENDATION TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

On June 24, Superintendent Robertson made his recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Read more about the Superintendent’s Recommendation.

PLAN FOR REPLACED SCHOOLS

Once the new school is ready to welcome students in 2016, the replaced schools could continue to serve the current and future needs of the community in other ways. The schools could be leased to organizations that provide valuable services to seniors, immigrants and newcomers, children and youth groups and more.

Here are a few examples of how some of our closed schools are currently serving the community: 

  • Parkdale School: Leased to Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, a nonprofit organization that supports Aboriginal children, youth and their families.

  • Fulton Place School: Houses several nonprofit organizations, including The Victorian Order of Nurses, The Alberta Caregivers Association, The Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta – Edmonton Chapter, Dance Experience and L’Arche Association of Edmonton.

  • Alex Taylor School: Leased to the Edmonton City Centre Church Corporation (E4C), a nonprofit organization that delivers adult literacy programs, hot lunches for schools and family counselling services. 

Many of you have shared your ideas and suggestions about the types of services that would benefit your community through our first round of public meetings and our first online survey. We’ll continue to work with you and our community partners to figure out how to best use the replaced schools.

For more examples, you can view a list of closed schools featuring a brief description of current and past uses.