The government of Alberta and the Calgary Board of Education are teaming up to build 4 new starter schools in Calgary. The schools are going to be located in the Aspen Woods, Cranston, Saddle Ridge, and Cougar Ridge/West Springs communities. Jim Prentice, the Premier of Alberta, made the announcement on Monday.
Prentice said in his news conference that the predicted growth for Calgary schools is 5,000 students per year for the upcoming 7 years. In order to handle this pressing issue, 4 starter schools will be built in phases.
The idea behind a starter school is it allows classrooms to open faster. At the same time, space can be added to accommodate future enrollment.
The province has said that it is committing $30.6 million for school infrastructure. Besides the starter schools, Westgate School will also receive modular classrooms and planning will go forward for a new South Calgary high school with the rest of the funding.
At the moment, 80 schools in the city are operating at 90% or more of their capacity rates. The need for new schools in Calgary is critical so this news couldn't come at a better time. According to Gordon Dirks, the new education minister, the schools will be ready for students between the months of January and March 2016.
The starter schools will include the following:
- 10 modular classrooms
- An office
- A washroom
- An activity centre
- Storage space
It's estimated that the schools can accommodate 250 to 350 students. There has been a lot of mixed reaction about the schools opening since they will lack the full amenities that can be found in a regular school. According to the provincial government, the activity centre may be used for gym activities or as a library.