Concept of new Westpark Middle School, as seen from the east (contributed by Berry Architecture).

Plans approved for new $13.5 million Westpark Middle School

Minor baseball office, exterior washrooms, concessions, and observation area are part of project

Plans for a new Westpark Middle School, with innovative ties to minor baseball and Red Deer College, were approved by Red Deer’s Municipal Planning Commission on Wednesday.

The new two-to-three storey public school will be built, starting this fall, on the same site as the aging Westpark Middle School at 3310-55th Avenue. The old building from 1969 will be demolished once the new, slightly larger school opens in September 2019.

There are many, many ‘firsts’ associated with the $13.5 million construction project, said George Berry, of Berry Architecture, a former Westpark Middle School student.

The blueprints, created after consultation with students, teachers and community members, will feature 26 classrooms, four modular classrooms, and many movable walls for flexible and collaborative learning and research.

“We wanted to create the most engaging environment possible,” said Berry, who noted even the school’s mechanical systems will be view-able to students, as a learning tool.

The 5,078-square-metre building that will accommodate 500 Grades 6-8 students will also include washrooms with exterior access for community events, and a concession area funded by the City of Red Deer.

It will have an office for the Red Deer Minor Baseball Association — and the sporting group will also pay for the future development of additional baseball diamonds on school grounds.

Berry said Westpark Middle School sits on the second largest public school site in Red Deer, and its existing baseball diamonds are already heavily used by Red Deer Minor Baseball.

Perhaps the most cutting-edge feature of the project will be a third-floor mezzanine observation area. It will be used by Red Deer College Education Department to view student teachers in classroom settings, and to teach university students teaching techniques without interrupting classes.

Della Ruston, associate superintendent of system services for the Red Deer Public School District — and a former Westpark Middle School principal — said this is an off-shoot of a long-standing relationship between the school and college. Westpark students have received automotive training and other education at RDC, while college education students have trained at the school.

It’s an “exciting” partnership that the provincial government has been watching with interest as a possible model for other communities, Ruston added.

Members of Red Deer’s Municipal Planning Commission unanimously approved the school’s construction plan, with some conditions. It is now going through a re-tendering process, but ground is expected to be broken this fall immediately west of the old school.

To read about how school bus traffic will be handled, click here.

lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer rings in the Chinese New Year

A couple hundred fill Festival Holiday to ring in the Year of the Dog

WATCH: From humble beginnings Red Deer-based wrestling promotion is growing

It wasn’t that long ago that Dylon Featherstone and the Canadian Wrestling… Continue reading

Popular Red Deer store to apply for cannabis dealer licence

At least one Red Deer store hopes to sell cannabis out of… Continue reading

Effect of electronics on students to be discussed at Central Alberta Teachers’ Convention

Thousands of area instructors will gather on Feb. 22 and 23 at RDC

WATCH: Polar dippers brave icy water to raise money for Sylvan Lake charities

The water may have been cold, but the amount of money raised… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

WATCH: Polar dippers brave icy water to raise money for Sylvan Lake charities

The water may have been cold, but the amount of money raised… Continue reading

WATCH: Cat yoga — the purr-fect de-stresser, says Red Deer-area cafe owner

Felines and humans stretch together each month at Alley Cat Cafe

Effect of electronics on students to be discussed at Central Alberta Teachers’ Convention

Thousands of area instructors will gather on Feb. 22 and 23 at RDC

Judge critical of sentencing laws

Court of Queen’s Bench justice argues sentencing options for first-degree murder too limited

Liberals write off $200 million in student loans feds will never collect

The federal government is writing off more than $200 million in outstanding… Continue reading

Trudeau takes wing on trade mission to India, where Sikh politics loom

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to India,… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month