Catholic Schools Urgently Needed in Edmonton
The Board of Trustees approved the 2022–2025 Capital Plan at today’s public board meeting. The first year of the three-year plan highlights the increasing need for three new Catholic schools and one replacement school.
- New high school in Castle Downs/Dunluce
- New K-9 school in Lewis Farms/Secord
- New K-9 school in Heritage Valley/ Cavanagh
- Replacement K-9 school in Rundle Heights
Construction Funding for High School in Castle Downs/Dunluce
Northwest Edmonton is the only sector of the city without a Catholic high school. As a result, Archbishop O’Leary Catholic High School is operating at a utilization rate of 116 per cent. Some classes have been moved to nearby St. Cecilia Catholic Junior High School to accommodate the huge enrolment.
On March 10, Edmonton Catholic Schools received design funding for a new high school near the Castle Downs YMCA. The new school will have capacity for 1,300 students.
“We are extremely grateful to the Government of Alberta for its support for a new Catholic high school in northwest Edmonton. The design money is a great start, but until the entire project is funded, we will continue to advocate for a Catholic high school in Castle Downs,” said Board Chair Sandra Palazzo.
New Schools to Support Enrolment Growth
Student enrolment in Edmonton Catholic Schools is anticipated to grow by 12 per cent over the next five years. The Division requires additional space to support this growth. A new Catholic elementary/junior high school is desperately needed in the Lewis Farms/Secord community. It is the second priority in the Capital Plan and will help relieve pressure at neighbouring schools.
“Without a new Catholic elementary junior high school, it is estimated by 2030 there will be 1,600 students enrolled at Bishop David Motiuk Catholic Elementary/Junior High School in nearby Lewis Greens,” said Chief Superintendent Robert Martin. “A total of 18 modular classrooms have been brought in to address the shortage of space. The building cannot accommodate any more modulars on site.”
Also included in the first year of the Capital Plan is a K-9 school in Heritage Valley/Cavanagh in southwest Edmonton. Three out of four K-9 schools in neighbouring communities have reached their full build-out capacity. The potential numbers of students in this area exceeds 1,700.
Replacement School in Rundle Heights
A replacement school is required to consolidate St. Jerome Catholic Elementary, St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary, and St. Nicholas Catholic Junior High. The average age of the three schools is 58 years and the total five-year deferred maintenance cost is $7 million.
“The deferred maintenance required for these buildings far exceeds the funding provided to maintain aging infrastructure,” explained John Fiacco, Superintendent of Educational Planning. “By amalgamating the three schools, the Division will be able to balance the utilization within the sector, significantly improve operating costs, and most importantly enrich our students learning environments.”
Advocating for Our Students
The 2022-2025 Capital Plan calls for a total of 11 projects and one partnership.
“Edmonton Catholic Schools believes all students should have access to a quality learning environment regardless of the age of the building,” said Martin.
Edmonton Catholic School’s Capital Plan identifies the Division’s highest priority school facility requirements for the forthcoming three-year period. For each year of the plan, projects are listed in order of priority. The Capital Plan will now be sent to Alberta Education for review and possible future funding.