Building a kindergarten-to-Grade 8 school in Gasoline Alley could be the top priority for Chinook’s Edge School Division in the next few years.
In 2017, Red Deer County approved an 86-lot housing development at Laura Avenue and McKenzie Road, the first of seven phases. The second phase for 51 lots was approved last year.
The school division’s new 2021-24 capital plan lists the proposed Liberty Landing school as its fourth priority. A new middle school in Penhold is the top priority, but that could change.
“(Liberty Landing) is listed No. 4, with the potential of maybe becoming No. 1, depending on what happens in the next year or two in terms of growth patterns,” said Shawn Russell, associate superintendent of corporate services with Chinook’s Edge.
Chinook’s Edge school board approved the capital plan on Wednesday and will submit it to the provincial government for funding.
He said when the government makes its funding announcements could also determine which project needs to be built first.
He said Penhold, Springbrook, Liberty Landing and the surrounding community is one of the fastest growing areas for the school jurisdiction.
Penhold schools are running out of space, so either a larger replacement school is needed there, or a Liberty Landing school to serve the area.
“Based on where potential school boundaries could be drawn for the new school, there’s already well over 200 students that could attend the school as of today,” said Russell.
“Liberty Landing has quite an extensive population when they build out that full development. We would need to have a school there eventually anyway, based on the potential population.”
Russell said a location for the school has been chosen.
Chinook’s Edge moved its Red Deer-area alternative high school, Gasoline Alley Career High, to a storefront in Gasoline Alley in 2016.