Red Deer Catholic launches first community feedback session on new Kentwood school

The Tuesday meeting will be by Zoom

Kim Pasula, board chair of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools. (Contributed photo.)

Kim Pasula, board chair of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools. (Contributed photo.)

A Zoom meeting to get community feedback on a new Catholic school for Red Deer’s Kentwood neighbourhood will be held on Tuesday.

Design work for the new St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School for the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools has already begun, and construction is expected to start this fall.

When the new school opens in September 2023, St. Lorenzo Ruiz school is expected to alleviate crowding at other Grades 6-9 schools in the Catholic district.

“The Division’s middle schools in Red Deer are currently operating at over 120 per cent capacity and we expect continued enrolment growth,” said board chair Kim Pasula, of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

A design team was chosen for the project, and preliminary geotechnical testing is expected to be completed soon on site conditions.

The new two-storey school “will bring a $25 million infrastructure project to our community… We look forward to sharing more about the project and hearing from community members at the upcoming online meeting,” added Pasula.

The first community engagement session will be held on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The focus will be primarily site layout. For more information about the Zoom meeting, visit stlorenzoschool.ca.

Red Deer Catholic Regional School board is also advocating for new schools in Blackfalds, Sylvan Lake and Red Deer as part of its three-year capital plan.

The board prioritized getting a new K-5 school in Blackfalds. It’s also advocating for a new K-5 School in Sylvan Lake, as well, two new schools for Red Deer — a K-5 school and a new K-5 French Immersion School.

No modernizations or preservation projects were requested in the three-year capital plan that will be sent to Alberta Education.

“Over the last 10 years, enrolment in our division has increased by 50 per cent and many of our schools are operating well beyond their utilization capacity,” said Pasula.

The highest priority is for a new elementary school in Blackfalds, he added, as St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, built in 2017, has already reached its capacity.

The district applied for two modular classrooms to be added to St. Gregory as the school is forecast to be 30 per cent overcapacity by the start of the 2023 school year, said Rod Steeves, secretary-treasurer at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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