The 2020-21 school year will look a bit different for students in the David Thompson Corridor as the Wild Rose School Division begins work on two new schools.
June 30 was the last day students would attend either Leslieville School or Condor School.
Students from both schools will attend David Thompson High School for the next two years, while the schools in Leslieville and Condor are rebuilt.
Brad Volkman, superintendent of schools for Wild Rose School Division, says the plan is the demolish the two schools this fall and begin construction on a new elementary school and high school next spring.
“It’ll take a couple years to rebuild the two schools. Currently it looks like the elementary school in Condor will be ready for September of the 2022/2023 school year,”Volkman said.
He continued to say the high school may not be finished for that September, but when it is the students will be able to move from David Thompson High School over to the new high school in Leslieville.
The prompt for two new schools to be built in the David Thompson corridor came from a lagoon and sewer issue at David Thompson High School.
The persisting issue caused the government to give a deadline of when the students have to be out and into a new facility for safety reasons.
After discussing options with the Provincial Government and Alberta Education, an extension was given to allow for the building of two new schools.
“When we told them our plan to go from three schools in the corridor to two, [the Provincial Government] were very excited. They agreed to build a new high school in Leslieville and, initially to modernize Condor,” Volkman said.
“When they went out to do a site inspection [at Condor School] they found it would actually be much more efficient to just build a new school.”
Volkman says going from three schools to two will allow the schools to be used to their maximum potential.
Currently each of the three schools are operating at 50 per cent occupancy. The new facilities will operate at close to 90 per cent occupancy, Volkman says.
“The schools will be brand new and have state-of-the-art facilities and technology. This is huge for our communities in to corridor,” he said.
In the meantime, three portable classrooms will be added to David Thompson High School for the next couple years, to handle the influx of students. Volkman says otherwise there is no issue moving the elementary students from Leslieville and Condor in to the high school on Hwy. 11.
“I am really impressed with the Government for agreeing with our plan and how quickly they are moving, and I am really impressed with our community in the corridor. They have been really supportive,” Volkman said.
The support from the community has grown in the form of a fundraising group, who are fundraising to build a larger gym for the high school. This will allow the new high school to host tournaments, such as provincials.
“We are really excited about this. These new schools will allow us to deliver 21st Century education to our students.”