December 16, 2017

Iron Ridge Elementary Campus modernization is school board’s top priority and a Grade 9 – 12 high school for Blackfalds is second top priority

At the October 6, 2016 Board of Trustees meeting the revised Three-Year Capital Plan 2018-2021 was presented and approved. Alberta Education – Capital Planning Branch staff recently toured Rimbey Junior/Senior High School, located in Rimbey, Alberta, and Iron Ridge Elementary Campus, located in Blackfalds, Alberta to analyze the current state of the infrastructure, enrolment trends and student programming capacity.

Based on these visits and a meeting with the Town of Blackfalds officials on October 5, 2017, the Board approved a recommendation to prioritize the following capital projects:

Modernization of Iron Ridge Elementary Campus located in Blackfalds, Alberta.
New Core 9-12 High School in Blackfalds, Alberta.
Modernization of Rimbey Junior/Senior High School in Rimbey, Alberta.

The Board was provided with updated census information from the Town of Blackfalds including projected utilization rates in future years for all three Blackfalds schools. Approximately 200 Blackfalds students currently receive their grade 10-12 education in Lacombe at École Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School (ESLCHS). Enrolment at ESLCHS is expected to grow to reach capacity within the next 3-5 years. The anticipated enrollment pressures in the Blackfalds sector presents a significant challenge due to the rapid growth of the community and projected rate of growth.

The second priority, a new Core 9-12 High School in Blackfalds, Alberta, will ensure high school programming will be available to students in their own community.

Additionally, the October 5, 2017 joint meeting between the Board and the Town of Blackfalds created a strong interest in partnership opportunities with both the Iron Ridge Elementary Campus and the future high school to create mutually beneficial school or community spaces in the event of a modernization of Iron Ridge Elementary Campus.

The Board also approved the tendering of an architect to begin an analysis of a modernization of Rimbey Junior/Senior School. This project would be addressed through the use of Wolf Creek Infrastructure, Maintenance and Renewal (IMR) funds pending approval from Alberta Education – Capital Planning Branch.

The approved Three-Year Capital Plan will be submitted by the October 15, 2017 deadline in anticipation of the provincial budget announcement for new capital projects in spring, 2018.

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