No child is denied entrance into a public school in Calgary. The only problem is that if you choose to live in one of our city’s newest neighbourhoods, the nearest public school is probably not down the street. A long journey on a school bus is not optimal for many Calgary families and large fields in new suburbs sit in wait for when the future-school-here signs to come down and for construction to begin.
The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) is long on plans to catch up with Calgary’s unprecedented growth and has announced some concrete plans now for schools in newer neighbourhoods in the north and south ends of the city, to the tune of $540 million in construction costs.
That includes the addition of three new schools in their current capital plans that have not been previously publicly announced.
That includes new facilities in the north neighbourhoods of Sherwood, Nolan Hill and in the south, Silverado. Silverado and the two neighbourhoods in the north need a middle school (Grade 5-9) and Sherwood specifically needs an elementary school.
At the March 9, 2016 board meeting, public school trustees approved the addition of these three facilities to the capital plan, which now includes 19 schools in waiting and a total of 10 upgrade projects to modernize current facilities. The combined construction budget, in 2016 dollars, is $540.2 million, which is $409.2 million in new construction and $131 million in modernization costs.
There are 16 schools on this plan, which forecasts the construction up to 2020. It’s hard to imagine this many new schools constructed in such a short amount of time. The first priority in this ambitions plan is to build an elementary school in the south east community of Cranston, at $15.6 million. The most costly project on the books is a proposed high school on the north side of the city in Coventry Hills which will likely cost $61 million to build. The most urgent need in renovation and modernization is Forest Lawn School, in dire need of upgrade.
The complete plan is available on the CBE’s website and outlines all projects in detail, but here is an overview of the three-year plan.
Cranston Elementary – $15.6 million
Evergreen Elementary – $15.6 million
Coventry Hills/Country Hills Village Elementary – $15.6 million
Forest Lawn High School Modernization – $24 million
Skyview Ranch Elementary/Middle – $22.6 million
Auburn Bay Middle – $22.6 million
Evanston Middle – $22.6 million
Mahogany Elementary – $15.6 million
North Calgary High – $61 million
John Diefenbaker High School Modernization – $18 million
Kincora Elementary – $15.6 million
Cougar Ridge Elementary – $15.6 million
Nickle School Modernization – $14 million
Janet Johnstone School Modernization – $9 million
Harvest Hills/Country Hills Elementary/Middle – $22.6 million
Sage Hill Elementary – $15.6 million
Annie Foote School Modernization – $12 million
Cedarbrae School Modernization – $9 million
Signal Hill Middle – $22.6 million
Performing Arts School – $27 million
Sherwood Elementary – $15.6 million
Ernest Morrow School Modernization – $16 million
Altadore School Modernization – $10 million
Valley Ridge/Crestmont Elementary – $15.6 million
Aspen Woods Middle – $22.6 million
Sherwood/Nolan Hill Middle – $22.6 million
Ranchlands School Modernization – $9 million
Queen Elizabeth School Modernization – $10 million
Silverado Middle – $22.6 million