Evergreen Value Management Meeting Brings Direction

March 1

On February 27 and 28, WRSD held a value management meeting in partnership with Alberta Education and Alberta Infrastructure to outline the future direction for Evergreen Elementary School. This meeting involved representatives from the Town of Drayton Valley, Evergreen Parent Council Members, WRSD Trustees, Drayton Valley school administrators and WRSD representatives. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the remediation of the Evergreen School crawlspace, which is the top capital priority for WRSD.

Two primary options emerged as a result of the value management discussions. The first option is to remediate and modernize Evergreen Elementary to meet the learning standards of today. The second option is to build a replacement school on the same property as Evergreen Elementary.

It is anticipated that to remediate and modernize Evergreen Elementary it will be an estimated cost of $15,000,000. The anticipated cost to build a brand new school will be an estimated cost of $21,000,000. These estimates include 25 years of projected maintenance and operational costs.

Moving forward Alberta Education and Alberta Infrastructure will do additional core testing to further define the full scope of the crawl space remediation. Upon completion of this testing, Alberta Education will give a recommendation to WRSD regarding the two options listed above. Once this recommendation has been made a request will be given to the province for funding approval. The estimated timeline for this project is two to three-years.

Regardless of the capital project direction, WRSD is planning how to accommodate Evergreen Elementary students moving forward over the next three years. One option is to shut down the school in totality for the 2017-2018 to the 2019-2020 school year. Another option, pending further structural and air quality testing, will be to continue using Evergreen Elementary as a K-4 school for 2017-2018 followed by a two-year closure. At the March 21 Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees will review these two accommodation plans and make a decision. A transportation plan and a plan for where Evergreen School students will attend school next year will be developed for the Drayton Valley area based on this decision. These plans have the potential to impact most of our Drayton Valley schools in terms of their grade configurations.

This two to three-year accommodation plan will be presented at a public town hall meeting in the Evergreen School gym on April 5, 2017. More details about this meeting will be given closer to the date.  

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Laura said on March 1, 2017

I am happy the issue is a top priority and being discussed. I think a new school would be the best option looking forward. It would be great to see a change in the whole school make up in Drayton Valley. I believe that WRSD offers great opportunities and that all the school have powerful teachers. I do not believe that the elementary schools all get the same credit and recognition for all they do. There are favored schools in the community which I believe are only based on who attends and the parents have created this. If you look at all the elementary schools, there are 2 that have great outside equipment. I know the equipment is from the parent groups and fundraising but it would be great to see equality in all of them so that it's not about the type of people that attend the school or the way it appears on the outside but rather about the quality of education. I like the idea that had been discussed about a k-2 school and a 3-4 and 5-6.