Catholic schools welcome new capital funding in Alberta budget
New Catholic school projects in Edmonton, Red Deer and the Calgary area are among the 25 capital projects to receive a portion of $397 million in education budget funding.
“We made a promise to Albertans that our government will continue to build new schools, and we are doing exactly that,” Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said in a Nov. 1 statement.
“Through our significant investment in new schools, replacements, modernizations and infrastructure upkeep, our children will continue to learn in up-to-date and safe spaces,” LaGrange said.
The Alberta government is providing funding for 15 new Catholic and public schools, including a new Catholic high school in south Edmonton. Six schools are earmarked for replacement, and four will receive modernizations or additions as part of the provincial budget announced Oct. 24.
Edmonton Catholic Schools will receive design funding for a new, $55 million Grade 10-12 high school in Heritage Valley with a capacity for 1,300 students, as well as funding for construction of a new $31-million, kindergarten-to-Grade 9 elementary/junior high school in Keswick. That school will have a capacity of 950 students.
“Today’s announcement is a great start to helping us meet the growing number of students who are choosing Edmonton Catholic Schools,” board chair Laura Thibert said in a statement.
“We are extremely pleased that the provincial government has listened to the crucial need for our first Capital Plan priority of a K-9 school in Keswick. In this community, 72 percent of the residential lots still have to be developed, and the closest Catholic K-9 school is over capacity.”
Thibert added that Heritage Valley is is one of the fastest growing sectors in the city and three of the four Catholic kindergarten to Grade 9 schools in the area are at, or over, capacity.
The Edmonton Catholic School District notes that every year its enrolment increases by approximately 1,000 students, which translates into a need for 33 more classrooms each year.
Other Catholic school districts receiving capital funding include Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools for design of a new Grade 6-9 middle school, Calgary Catholic School District for construction of a new K-9 elementary/junior high school in Cochrane, and Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools for the modernization of Morinville Community High School.