Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division will open two new schools in the fall — St. Joseph High School in Red Deer and St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds.
School division spokesperson Haleigh Packer explained there was a high demand for a new high school in Red Deer for a while.
“École secondaire Notre Dame High School was pretty packed and we had a need,” she said. “(Residents) been advocating for this school for quite a while in the past.”
The school is located in northeast Red Deer and both principal and staff are looking forward to their first school year in the new facility.
“It is truly an exciting time for us here at St. Joseph High School … our inaugural year,” states a message from the school principal Graeme Daniel on the school website.
Meanwhile in Blackfalds, the new $15-million school will mark the start of Catholic education in a growing community where Catholic education is very much in demand, said St. Gregory the Great Catholic School principal Chris Andrew.
“The enrolment suggests that community of Blackfalds appreciates and welcomes Catholic education and it’s not going to take very long before this building will be at capacity and we will be in need of a larger school,” said Andrew.
More than 400 students are currently enrolled in the school. The capacity of the school is 500 students.
Tours were given to school students, families and the community over the summer. Another information session is scheduled for Aug. 29 where students will meet their teachers and see their classrooms.
The two-storey building has a middle school sized gymnasium and 23 learning spaces which are expandable to 27 classrooms.
Andrew said the vibrant colours and the well lit building excites everyone who walks into the newly finished building.
Students from St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School, St. Patrick’s Community School and St. Teresa of Avila School will form the newly developed school’s population. Students from pre-kindergarten to Grade 9 in Blackfalds travelled to Red Deer every day to attend the three schools and get Catholic education with the school division.