An aerial shot of Don Campbell Elementary school that opens this fall. Photo submitted

New school for the new school year

Changes at Red Deer public schools

Red Deer public school students in the Ironstone and Vanier Woods areas will head off to Don Campbell Elementary school in Inglewood starting this fall.

The facility is a colourful, one-storey building that has a 500-student capacity. Enrolment is sitting around 350.

Principal Cam Pizzey is excited to welcome students to the facility and start their school year. He has been busy over the summer getting supplies and furniture into the building.

About 600 people attended an open house in June and toured the facility.

Teachers and support staff are transferring to Don Campbell Elementary from other schools within the division.

The school has three outdoor classrooms.

“It’s a very innovative design. We are pleased with the design of the school and the music room itself is a beautiful round space and well done acoustically,” said Bruce Buruma, director of community relations at Red Deer Public Schools.

As exciting as the news is for the school division, it wasn’t easy getting here. There were many consultations with the school community to develop scenarios to suit everyone’s needs.

Other changes in the division include enhancing the Spanish bilingual program due to its immense success.

“Grandview was a kindergarten to Grade 5 school and students who were there, were going to go to Mountview School or to Barrie Wilson School,” said Buruma.

Moving the Spanish bilingual program to Grandview means the program serves kindergarten to Grade 8 students. The school has also been renamed to Escuela Vista Grande.

A tender to replace Westpark Middle School and build a facility is out and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2019. Darren Skrepmyk, director of facilities services, confirmed it was not feasible to upgrade the facility.

Some other changes at other schools within the division include new lighting in school gymnasiums and school exteriors.

Students at Gateway Christian School are in for a surprise come fall this year, too. Severe wind damage in June took down 75 trees and a storage building at the school.

The school division did a cleanup of the area over the summer and students will now have green space where the trees used to be.

“It’s now a play area with grass,” said Skrepmyk.

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