WRSD Capital Plan Update for the Corridor Schools
June 25, 2018
On June 19, 2018, Wild Rose School Division trustees and administration, together with, Clearwater County councilors and administration, held a public meeting at David Thompson High School to update the community on the Wild Rose School Division capital plans for the corridor schools. This plan includes the closing of David Thompson High School no later than December 31, 2021 (as mandated by Alberta Municipal Affairs due to an unresolvable sewage lagoon issue) and moving all kindergarten to grade 12 students into the Condor and Leslieville schools. This will reduce the number of schools in the corridor from three to two, while at the same time increasing the number of students and staff at both the Condor and Leslieville schools.
We reviewed the results of the value management session held at Leslieville School on April 19 and 20, 2018. The purpose of that value management session was to determine the best long term solution for our schools in Leslieville and Condor such that they will be able to accommodate the programming needs for all K-12 students in the corridor. It was determined that Condor School should become a grade K-6 school and Leslieville School should become a grade 7-12 school. In order for this to happen, both schools would need to be either fully modernized or built new.
As such, three possible scenarios were developed at the value management:
- Option 1: Modernize both Condor & Leslieville schools - $26.7M
- Option 2: Build new schools at both Condor & Leslieville - $29.5M
- Option 3: Modernize Condor school & build a new Leslieville school - $26.6M
Clearwater County demonstrated their support for each of these options by announcing that the Leslieville sewage lagoon is able to service an increase in students and staff. Although the Condor lagoon will need some upgrades in order to support an increase in students, the County is taking measures to ensure that will happen. Clearwater County also indicated they would cover all costs related to the utility right of way relocation on the Leslieville School property site, such that we would be able to build a new Leslieville High School beside the current school. This is important because it would allow us to continue using the current Leslieville school while in the process of building a new school on the same property if option 2 or 3 is selected. This support will need to be formalized at a Clearwater County regular council meeting in July 2018, after which Clearwater County has committed to writing letters of support to Wild Rose School Division stating that all required utilities will be available in order to support either the modernization or the building of new schools in Leslieville and Condor.
The Wild Rose School Division Board of Trustees will make a decision at their August 21, 2018 board meeting regarding which of the above options they will pursue on their capital plan request to government, with the hope of receiving government approval for the plan by April, 2019.
Given this announcement of support from Clearwater County, it is likely that either option 2 or 3 above will be pursued as both of these options include the building of a new high school on the current Leslieville site while being able to continue using the existing Leslieville School during the construction phase. It is not possible to build a new school at the Condor School site without first demolishing the existing Condor School due to where it is situated on the property.
Wild Rose School Division will continue make use of all three corridor schools for the 2018-19 school year. If we receive government approval for our capital plan by April 2019, then starting the 2019-20 school year we would move all of our grade 7-12 students into David Thompson High School and all of our grade K-6 students into the current Leslieville School. Condor School would be vacated. This would allow us to build a new high school at Leslieville and either a modernization or new school at Condor (depending on which option is chosen), all while not disturbing our students. If things go as planned the new high school could be ready by February 2022, which is just about the same time that we need to vacate David Thompson High School. Since construction would be taking place at Condor School at the same time, a new or modernized Condor School could be ready not long after this. It should be noted that a modernization takes approximately 6 months longer to complete than building a new school.
Alberta Education has encouraged us to pursue community partnerships for the purpose of collaboration and project enhancements that would benefit both our corridor students and community. This could include the donation of funds to build a larger gym, kitchen, library, etc. than otherwise would be allocated to us, such that the new or modernized schools could be more fully utilized by the community for things like a public library, recreation center, community hall, arts center, adult learning, senior citizen drop in, etc. Please see WRSD Policy 21: Corporate Sponsorship for a general description as well as Administrative Procedure 525: Corporate Sponsorship for further details regarding corporate and personal sponsorships. We are encouraging potential partners to contact Wild Rose School Division as soon as possible. If this capital plan request is approved by April 2019, the planning and design phases would begin very soon after their announcement, which means any additional funds for project enhancements would need to be committed and in place by early summer 2019.
Wild Rose School Division is very excited about the support we are receiving from Alberta Education, Clearwater County and the corridor community for this project. Together it is our ongoing goal to ensure all of our K-12 students in the corridor will continue to receive an excellent education in modern school facilities that support 21st century learning and program delivery.
For further details from our June 19, 2018 meeting please see:
- Corridor Schools Public Meeting presentation June 19, 2018
- Questions and Answers from the June 19, 2018 meeting
If you know of a potential corporate partner that you would be willing to approach, please contact Wild Rose School Division to request a partnership letter that you could deliver to the potential partner. If you have any questions regarding our capital plan for the corridor schools, please do not hesitate to contact Wild Rose School Division at 403-845-3376.