Three new Edmonton Catholic schools, one public, won’t be ready for 2016

Just one of four Catholic schools scheduled to open next year will be ready for the start of school next fall.

EDMONTON — Just one of four Catholic schools scheduled to open next year will be ready for the start of school next fall.

The Edmonton Catholic District was expecting four new schools to be open by September 2016, but the district has been told just one will be done on time.

Boris Radyo, assistant superintendent of educational planning with Edmonton Catholic, says a replacement school project originally set to be completed by December 2016 may open ahead of schedule in September 2016.

The Alberta government website that tracks school construction projects and their progress now lists December 2016 as the estimated completion date for the other schools.

A spokesperson for Alberta Infrastructure confirmed Tuesday there were delays.

The province said methane was found on the site where Edmonton Public’s Michael Phair School and Bishop David Motiuk School are planned, so those schools may not be ready until September 2017.

The government is working on removing the methane gas and make the sites safe.

Education Minister David Eggen said when the NDP took office, capital funding was not confirmed.

“We have now confirmed funding for 141 new schools and 91 modernizations across Alberta. This reflects the significant commitment of this government to education and building capacity in the system,” Eggen said in a statement.

Radyo said the Catholic district is seeing unprecedented growth and expects about another 1,400 students next year.

He said delays aren’t ideal, but the district will do what it can to accommodate attendance growth until the new schools are ready.

Edmonton Catholic has already adjusted attendance areas, and even moved one kindergarten class to a nearby school to accommodate growth and some schools being at capacity.

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