An artist’s drawing of the new Catholic K to 9 school in Blackfalds, St. Gregory the Great School. (Contributed)

An artist’s drawing of the new Catholic K to 9 school in Blackfalds, St. Gregory the Great School. (Contributed)

New Blackfalds Catholic school also ahead of schedule

School will have capacity for 500 students

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools has one other new school under construction and another one undergoing modernization.

St. Gregory the Great School, which will serve Grades K to 9 students in Blackfalds, is the first Catholic school in Blackfalds. French immersion and high school students will continue to be bused into Red Deer.

The two-storey school is a bit ahead of schedule at 105 Cottonwood Drive and will open next September.

Related: St. Joseph School nearing completion

In its first year it will house about 230 students. The school will have a capacity of 500 students but it isn’t expected that it will take long to fill as Blackfalds, just north of Red Deer, continues to see steady and strong growth averaging about eight per cent each year recently.

“Although we’re going to open with a little bit of room, it’s probably not going to be that many years and we’ll be looking for more space,” said Ken Jaeger, supervisor of Support Services for the school district. Most of the students that will go to St. Gregory the Great are currently attending St. Teresa of Avila, St. Patrick’s or St. Thomas Aquinas schools in Red Deer.

The first year might see a few less students because students going into Grade 9 will have the option of remaining where they are so they wouldn’t have to move schools two consecutive years. In Grade 10 they will have to move to St. Joseph High School. which opens in Red Deer in September.

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys School in Innisfail has been undergoing modernization work at the pre-kindergarten to Grade 9 school. Work is expected to be completed in June.

The work is part of a multi-phase project that includes Chinook’s Edge School division schools — John Wilson Elementary, Innisfail Middle, and Innisfail Junior/Senior High School — along with St. Marguerite Bourgeoys School. St. Marguerite is housed within the Chinook’s Edge’s John Wilson.