Work starts on newest elementary school

Work has begun on the city’s newest public elementary school.

Work has begun on the city’s newest public elementary school.

Site preparation is underway for the Red Deer Public School District’s kindergarten to Grade 5 school in the new Timberlands subdivision.

The 12-classroom building at 290 Timothy Drive will hold 500 students when it opens in September 2014, with options for doubling its population by adding 12 more relocatable classrooms. It’s being built with 11 other schools in a $288-million provincial government private-public partnership.

The city contributed $450,000 towards the capital cost so the building could house Red Deer Public Library’s newest branch.

School board chair Lawrence Lee praised the partnership between his district, the library and the city at a sod- turning on Tuesday.

“It’s great for taxpayers and great for our students. The possibilities for the community are wide and deep.” The public library will serve as the school library in a fee for service agreement.

“Traditionally we’ve moved to downsizing our libraries, but this represents a devotion to literacy,” said Lee.

Library director Dean Frey said the new branch will be more than 500 square metres, making services available to east side and north end residents.

“There will be books, audiovisual materials and a lot of online resources,” he said, adding it will open in time to mark the library’s 2014 centennial.

School superintendent Piet Langstraat said the library’s inclusion will literally open the school’s doors.

“We welcome and want the community to use this facility.”

Maximum east and north school use with minimal student disruption, as well as finding transportation efficiencies, is the district’s game plan when the new school’s programs and attendance boundaries are set. Five potential scenarios for elementary school boundaries have been developed.

“We want to utilize our schools and transportation as effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Lee.

A second public meeting goes Thursday at Hunting Hills High School from 6 to 8 p.m., where the public can give its input. Parents can also do so online at www.rdpsd.ab.ca/boundary.php. Feedback from these meetings, plus three earlier ones, will be incorporated into a plan for September 2014 implementation to align with the new school’s opening.

The plan and administration recommendations will be presented school trustees Dec. 12.

rfiedler@bprda.wpengine.com

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