Construction priorities for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools include two new elementary schools in Red Deer and one in Blackfalds.
The board of trustees recently approved Red Deer Catholic’s Three Year Capital Plan for provincial funding consideration.
At the top of the wish list is a kindergarten to Grade 5 school for Blackfalds, followed by a kindergarten to Grade 5 French immersion school for Red Deer. Third on the list is another kindergarten to Grade 5 school for Red Deer.
Red Deer Catholic’s capital plan says the Blackfalds school needs to be built for September 2025 because the town is continuing to grow at an above average pace.
St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds is expected to reach 122 per cent utilization this fall so two modular classrooms will be added to increase the school’s capacity for the time being.
The plan says in Red Deer the Catholic schools average close to 100 per cent utilization so there are no additional classrooms available to handle growth in the city.
A new French immersion school will be required for September 2027 to alleviate immersion program pressure.
A new kindergarten to Grade 5 school will also be needed for September 2029. The last of the modular classrooms at Father Henri Voisin School were occupied in the 2018-19 school year.
Last October the division broke ground for the construction of St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School in Kentwood to address capacity pressure on its middle schools in Red Deer.
The Grade 6 to 9 school should be complete by the fall of 2023.
The capital plan says additions to St. Francis of Assisi Middle School in 2016, the opening of St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in 2017, and the modular additions to St. Thomas Middle School in 2020 have helped, but middle schools continue to be well over the 100 per cent utilization rate.