Two new Red Deer schools will have the capacity to hold up to 1,800 students starting in the 2016-17 school year.
The schools, one kindergarten to Grade 5 public school and one Catholic high school, were announced on Thursday at Notre Dame High School by Red Deer MLAs Cal Dallas and Mary-Anne Jablonski.
No cost for either project was given by the MLAs.
The elementary school will have space for 600 students while the high school will start with a capacity of 900, but can be expanded to 1,200 students. The high school will also give the nomadic Red Deer Royals a permanent home, a first for them.
Both schools will be built in northeast Red Deer, with the high school located near 67th Street and 30th Avenue.
“We’re building for the future and Red Deer is in a pretty good place in terms of the quality and experience we can provide for young students,” said Dallas.
The new Catholic high school will be called St. Joseph’s while the planned elementary school does not have a name yet.
“Not only is it two new schools, one of those is a high school, which is a tremendous commitment,” said Jablonski. “I know all our high schools are working hard to accommodate the students they have, so another high school is very exciting.”
Some students from Mattie McCullough Elementary School were brought into Notre Dame High School for the announcement.
“Costs have not been determined for the projects,” said Dallas.
“We’re looking at what the product would look like in terms of the design and from the design point, we can get the cost estimates.”
Dallas called the 2016 deadline aggressive, but necessary to meet the growing demand for class space.
Bev Manning, Red Deer Public School District board chair, called it a fantastic day for the city.
“It’s a much needed new K to 5 school, it’s a lot of work and we’re excited,” said Manning.
“We need it.
“We have a lot of enrolment pressures, just about across the board. Especially on the south side of Red Deer, Mattie McCullough is bursting at the seams and it has been since the day it opened.”
Red Deer Royals band director Michael Mann was told on Wednesday that the marching band will finally get a permanent home.
“This is exciting news for the Red Deer Royals to finally have a place they can call home,” said Mann, adding they’re looking forward to the partnership with Red Deer Catholic Schools.
“It will allow us to have a facility to rehearse our marching show bands in the offseason. … We’re often at the Westerner for many weeks, and we’re very appreciative, but when they’re booked, we’re down at Lindsay Thurber and River Glen School quite often as well.”
There are already three new schools being built in Red Deer and expected to open this fall.
The new Ecole La Prairie School, located just south of the old school between 34th and 35th Streets east of 49th Avenue, has 13 classrooms, two portables and room for another two portables.
When completed, the school will have a capacity of 300 students.
Also in Red Deer, construction crews are hard at work building the Ecole Barrie Wilson Elementary School in Timberlands. The Red Deer Public School will be able to hold 600 kindergarten to Grade 5 students.
The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools will also have a new school for the 2014-15 year. Father Henri Voisin School, a kindergarten to Grade 5 school, is under construction in Clearview Ridge. When completed, the school will have room for 300 students from the Clearview, Rosedale, Clearview Ridge, Timberlands, Garden Heights and those residing north of 39th Street in Deer Park.