Full funding announced for new Black Gold high school
The provincial government has announced full construction funding for a new high school in the City of Leduc this week. The provincial government had already committed to design funding for the capital project in its 2019 Spring Budget.
This will be Black Gold’s second high school in the City of Leduc and will have an opening capacity of 1,000, with a future expansion to 1,600.
“We could not be happier to hear this news, as the need for a new high school has been on the Division’s radar as early as March 2017,” stated Chair Klaassen. “It wasn’t barely a year and the Division elevated the need of a new high school in Leduc to the Division’s number one priority on its capital plan list. This was as a result of our 10 Year Facility Plan and Three Year Capital Plan, that indicated student enrolment in Leduc would exceed high school capacity in three years. In other words, we would be facing extreme capacity pressures at the high school as early as the 2020 – 2021 school year.”
The Black Gold School Division has been experiencing steady growth for a number of years, putting capacity pressures on its school systems in Leduc and Beaumont. This year alone, the Division student enrolment numbers increased by roughly 5 per cent. The numbers are comparable to adding a new school of students to Black Gold every year.
“Thankfully our Administration and Board of Trustees worked hard to ensure the need to increase capacity in our Leduc schools was a well known issue. We are extremely grateful that the government heard our needs, and included us in 2019 and now the 2020 capital plan,” Chair Klaassen explained.
The Government of Alberta’s 2020 Capital Plan adds two new modernization projects and provides full construction funding for nine projects that had previously only received design funding. This brings government’s total Capital Plan investment to $1.5 billion over the next three years to support new schools and modernization projects currently underway across the province.
In a statement provided by Adrianna LaGrange, Minister of Education, Government of Alberta, she announced, “Our government remains committed to building new schools and modernizing our existing ones to ensure students continue to learn in safe and modern spaces. Education remains a priority and our government’s significant investment in school infrastructure is delivering on our promise to prioritize schools for today and generations to come.”
Brad Rutherford, MLA, Leduc-Beaumont also provided assurances stating, “We are proud of our commitment to build schools where they are needed most in communities across the province. A new high school for Leduc will address capacity now, while anticipating the continued strong growth of this community in the future. Leduc students, and our community, will be well served for years to come.”
To date, details for the new high school project, including pricing and a timeline are yet to be determined. The new school will be constructed in Crystal Creek, on a site just south of Highway 39 and west of the fire hall off of 69 street.
The capital project will involve a number of partners working together to ensure the project goes as smoothly as possible and that the structure provides a caring and accommodating space for high school students in Leduc.
“This is an important enhancement for our growing community, region and for Black Gold Schools, and we applaud the Government of Alberta for making this new school a priority,” stated City of Leduc Mayor Bob Young. “We are excited for future development in this area that will feature enhanced recreation and education spaces for Leduc and the surrounding municipalities–including plans for a phased-in recreation centre adjacent to the school.”
According to Superintendent/CEO of the Black Gold School Division, William Romanchuk, this school will not only provide space for students within the City of Leduc and surrounding area, it will provide opportunities for students to be able to work with expanded course offerings to engage in wider career choices when they leave the school system. “We look forward to working with the City of Leduc as partners in their vision for a west end campus and recreation area,” stated Superintendent Romanchuk. “The end result inside and out will be worth the wait. On behalf of those families, students, staff and the Black Gold School Division, thank you to the Government of Alberta and our partners like the City of Leduc for their commitment to investing in new schools. This will allow the Division to continue to provide caring, up-to-date, safe spaces for our students in Leduc for years to come”.