Supporters who want a high school built in Blackfalds presented a petition with 615 signatures to Blackfalds town council on Tuesday night.
The petition requests Wolf Creek School District make the construction of a high school in Blackfalds, either adjacent to or connected with the existing junior high school, a priority in the capital budget it submits to the province, and provide the necessary funds to operate it with full programming.
John Anderson, a representative of the group that wants a high school in town, said around 300 high school students are among the 600 students who are bused out of Blackfalds to attend schools in other communities.
“There’s a pretty clear-cut need,” Anderson said before presenting the petition at the town council meeting.
“When young people buy a house in this town they almost, without exception, think there’s going to be a high school.”
Many of them end up moving out of Blackfalds, he added.
Blackfalds Mayor Melodie Stol accepted the petition, which will be presented to Wolf Creek School District.
She said council and the school board recently met and intend to move forward with joint strategic planning.
“Everybody wants what’s best for Blackfalds. I think we can find those things together and meet the education needs of people in Blackfalds in Blackfalds,” Stol said.
Former mayor Wayne Tutty also spoke to council in support of a high school.
He said a high school helps create a sense of connection among residents.
“This is part of the building blocks that makes a great community and I hope that you will consider this and take further action on it,” Tutty said.
About a dozen people showed up at the council meeting in support of the petition.
But parent Ainsley Gray, who has three children in school, told council she didn’t sign the petition as there was already a lack of class options for students in Blackfalds. She didn’t expect a high school would be any different.