Catholic division reviews school projects

A new high school set to open by 2016 is seen as a positive step for Red Deer Regional Catholic Regional Schools, but there is still more work to be done to ready the division for a growing population.

A new high school set to open by 2016 is seen as a positive step for Red Deer Regional Catholic Regional Schools, but there is still more work to be done to ready the division for a growing population.

Several more capital projects were reviewed at the most recent school board meeting, with upgrades to two Red Deer schools at the top of the list.

Board chair Guy Pelletier said one of the top priorities is a new addition to St. Francis of Assisi Middle School, adding capacity for 120 students.

The board wants to build a two-storey addition to the southeast portion of the school with four classrooms and a Career and Technology Studies lab. As well four portables will be brought in and attached to the school.

A second high school will allow the board to move some portables from Notre Dame High School to St. Francis.

With the increased capacity from the project, students in English language programs will be moved from Ecole Camille J. Lerouge to St. Francis, leaving Camille J. Lerouge a solely French school.

“It’s a bit of a domino cycle,” said Pelletier.

“Camille is our most overcapacity school. It’s sitting at close to 130 per cent, so it is really bad.”

St. Francis was built with capacity for 485 students, but had the ability to expand to 700 with upgrades.

According to the board’s capital plan, the school has 483 students this year.

There are several other requests on the board’s three-year capital plan, including a hope for a kindergarten to Grade 9 school in Blackfalds and the modernization of St. Matthew Catholic School in Rocky Mountain House.

“About 200 kids from Blackfalds are being bused into Red Deer now,” said Pelletier.

“That’s a really active community out there.”

The new high school is scheduled to be built and opened for the start of the 2016-17 school year. St. Joseph High School will have Grade 10 to 12 students.

Located in the northeast quadrant of Red Deer, it will be designed to accommodate up to 1,200 students with an initial capacity for 900 students.

“The new priority No. 1 is the five-classroom permanent addition to St. Francis, followed up by Blackfalds and then the St. Patrick’s modernization,” said Pelletier.

“St. Patrick’s has been on the list for a long time and the unfortunate thing about modernizations in a division that is growing like we are is that they have a hard time making it to the top priority.”

Because other projects get in the way, Pelletier said they are working on different strategies to update the school, keeping in mind that the new school requirements for the division aren’t going away.

In February when members of the Progressive Conservative government toured the province announcing new schools and modernization funding, only the high school was announced for the Catholic division.

Pelletier is hopeful more modernizations will be announced going forward and hoping to get the St. Patrick’s project done.

“We keep lobbying hard for the permanent builds we need to serve new students,” said Pelletier.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Property taxes in Red Deer will go up 2.02 per cent in 2018

City council passes a “tough” budget that maintains most service levels

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more provincial funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by FCSS

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… 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