City to hold public hearing on proposed francophone school

A public hearing on a proposed francophone school in Aspen Ridge will be held in council chambers at Red Deer City Hall on Monday. March 5. Residents will have the chance to comment on the change in designation of the school site.

A public hearing on a proposed francophone school in Aspen Ridge will be held in council chambers at Red Deer City Hall on Monday. March 5.

Residents will have the chance to comment on the change in designation of the school site.

The public hearing gets underway at 6 p.m.

If city council gives approval, the Aspen Ridge school site along Addington Drive would be changed to allow a kindergarten to Grade 12 school for francophone students. Currently, the school is zoned kindergarten to Grade 8.

The new francophone school is one of three P3 (public private partnership) school projects that the province has planned for Red Deer. The schools will open for the 2014-15 school year.

About 250 students would attend the francophone school — 70 of whom would be high school students.

In an interview outside council chambers, Nicole Lorrain, trustee with the Greater North Central Francophone Education Region No. 2, said the school division buses its students for free, which means that vehicle traffic would be cut down significantly.

The high school student figure was listed as 70, but that likely involves Grade 7 to 12 students, she added.

The City of Red Deer sent out more detailed information to residents within the vicinity of the school, which is slated to be built on green space. In December, letters were sent to residents about the francophone school, but some details were missing.

The city received 193 letters of opposition and three letters in favour of the school.

One major concern centres on parking because people believe a lot of high school students will want to drive.

Lorrain said earlier that the school division buses its students for free, which means that vehicle traffic would be cut down significantly.

Council will postpone a decision until March 19 on second and third readings to the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan and the Aspen Ridge Neighbourhood Area Structure Plan.

For more information, call the City of Red Deer’s Legislative and Governance Services Department at 403-342-8132. For more information on the francophone school site, call the Planning Department at 403-342-8208.

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