Hunting Hills High School needs $7 million in repairs.
The Red Deer Public Schools board of trustees recently made changes to its three-year capital plan in order to address issues as Hunting Hills.
“It’s hard for some of us to realize, but that school is now 25 years old,” said Bev Manning, board chair. “The roof on the building has been an issue pretty much since the beginning. We’ve worked hard over the years to keep it patched together so the building can operate efficiently. But the time’s come where we really need to address it.”
Manning said the district was hoping to fund the repairs, but a $7 million price tag is too high.
“We’re going to have to go to the government for that money and see if we can get that building repaired and maintained to ensure it has lots of life left,” she said.
It’s an issue that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later, she added.
“The longer you leave a situation like that, it’s not good,” Manning said. “If we leave it, it’s only going to get worse and you’re only going to have future costs down the road. So we’re really pushing to get that done.”
Another priority listed for the school district is the construction of two new Red Deer schools: a Grade 6-8 Middle School in North East Red Deer and a Grade 9-12 High School in North Red Deer. The middle school would fit 600 students and the high school would fit 1,000 students.
The middle school project is No. 2 on the district’s list of priorities.
A newly constructed Westpark Middle School building will open in the fall, but with that facility being a rebuild project, no significant space will be created for students.
“Once you get approval (for a new school) it takes three years minimum to get that building up and running. If we’re already struggling with burgeoning enrolment, by the time we get an approval and get the building up and running we’re going to be even more stressed.”
The district’s other priorities were the modernization of Gateway Christian School, Eastview Middle School, Fairview Elementary School and Glendale School.
The capital plan must be submitted to Alberta Education no later than April 1.
Red Deer Public Schools isn’t the only central Alberta district updating its capital plan. The Chinook’s Edge School Division updated its plan to “respond to community demographics,” a release said.
The four priorities listed are: 250-student classroom addition to Carstairs, a new 500-capacity replacement facility for Penhold Middle School, a new Grade 10-12 High School in Sylvan Lake and a new 400-student capacity for Olds Elementary School.