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Blackfalds high school push gains momentum


Demonstrators wanting a high school welcomed Blackfalds town council and Wolf Creek Public School District trustees to their joint meeting on Monday night.

About 25 parents and children waved signs and a banner encouraging the two governing bodies to help build the fast-growing town a high school.

“We are making progress on the awareness front,” said John Anderson, the lobbying effort’s organizer, in an email.

“It seems our main concept is now being considered as an idea rather than ignored.”

Chairperson Trudy Bratland of Wolf Creek board of trustees said a new elementary school is “the top priority in our capital plans for the future.

“We’re regularly lobbying the (provincial) government and Blackfalds has done that, too. Now we’re finally joining forces to work together for that elementary school and certainly for a new high school in the future, if the trends come true.”

Blackfalds Mayor Melodie Stol said council and the school board “undertook some joint strategic planning.

“It’s about coming up with a plan towards the education needs of the community.

“A high school is part of it, but we’re making sure we’re addressing the education needs of Blackfalds citizens in the best way possible.”

Anderson said building a high school would free up space in the junior campus “to manage the shortage of space for the elementary grades.

“It is a fiscally responsible and realistic solution to the overall community needs.”

About 220 high school students are bused from Blackfalds to Lacombe Composite High School daily and others attend Red Deer schools.

The 2011 federal census found Blackfalds grew to 6,300, or 34.4 per cent, since the 2006 census total of 4,618, making it Canada’s 14th fastest growing community over the previous five years.

The census also found 575 children aged five-to-nine-years-old and 735 aged zero-to-four-years-old, compared to 430 aged 10 to 14 and 310 aged 15 to 19.

More information on the high school lobbying effort is available online at www.highschool4blackfalds.com.

rfiedler@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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