Elementary school to see modernization

  • Jan. 29, 2014 6:07 p.m.

One local school is set to get a face-lift after a government announcement last week.

Cal Dallas, minister of international and intergovernmental relations and MLA for Red Deer South along with Mary Anne Jablonski, MLA for Red Deer North, announced during a press conference that Annie L. Gaetz will see modernization as part of the Conservative government’s Building Alberta Plan.

The project will provide mechanical, electrical, interior and exterior upgrades to ensure students continue to have access to the modern, up-to-date learning facility. No cost has been released on the project as of yet.

In 2015, Annie L. Gaetz Elementary School will be 50 years old. Named after Annie L. Gaetz, who was a local pioneer and author, the school has 318 students enrolled today.

“School modernization and renewal is a great example of our government’s Building Alberta Plan and its responsible, strategic focus. Red Deer is one of our province’s fastest-growing communities and we are responding to the needs of our kids by ensuring they have access to a modern learning environment,” said Dallas. “This is a renovation that is really needed and the students are going to benefit both today and moving forward here for a long time. There will be some very positive work done in the school that I think will improve the environment, the space that our students learn in and it’s a good outcome all the way around.”

The Red Deer Public School Board determined modernization of Annie L. Gaetz Elementary School was a top priority for the division.

Darren Skrepnyk, director of facilities services for the Red Deer Public School division said the first step to the modernization is to establish a primary consultant.

“We’ll probably be out for tender very shortly for that. Once that is established we will go through a design period, which I would estimate will take about two to three months,” he said. “If all went well we could see a possible start (for construction) in the summer.”

Skrepnyk said because the school will be occupied by students as construction gets underway, the project will take about one year to complete.

Meanwhile, Jablonski added there is a strong commitment to communities and families by the Conservative government.

“Modern facilities will help ensure that Alberta’s students receive a world-class education. Making the best use of existing space and investing wisely ensures our Red Deer students benefit from having the most modern, up-to-date facility possible,” she said.

In addition, it was also announced last week that Ecole John Wilson Elementary School in Innisfail will also see renovations. This project is the second phase of the two-part modernization project for the school and will see further upgrading to the electrical, fire, and mechanical systems. The school interior will also be modified to meet programming needs and make better use of space.

Last spring, Premier Alison Redford made the announcement to build and modernize 120 schools throughout the province. Additional school projects are being announced in the next couple of weeks.