New French language school is on schedule
Construction of a replacement for Red Deer’s French language school is right on schedule.
Builders are working to have the half-finished structure closed off before it gets too cold, said incumbent francophone trustee Nicole Lorrain of the Edmonton-based Conseil scholaire Centre-Nord.
“The brick work is already on the front ... I’m told everything is on target,” she added.
The goal is to open the new, larger school to replace the aging École La Prairie by next September.
The school for children of French-speaking parents is being built as a public-private P3 partnership. It will have room for 300 kindergarten to Grade 12 students.
Lorrain said Red Deer’s francophone enrolment is holding steady at 131 students, the same as last year. The problem is École La Prairie has tended to lose older students because, up to now, it has lacked a large gym and space for various options beyond the elementary years.
“The gymnasium is too small for a lot of sports ... and we had no science lab ... or room for options.”
The new school, being built on the present École La Prairie grounds at 49th Avenue and 43th Street, will have a larger gym and more specialty classrooms for art, band and science. Lorrain hopes this will enable the French school to retain older students, who may otherwise transfer to other Red Deer high schools.
To enrol in École La Prairie, at least one of the students’ parents must have been educated in French.