New francophone school approved in City

Red Deer City council has approved the site for a new francophone school that will house students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Council unanimously approved the development which will be located on their current site at 4810 35 St. in Red Deer.

The current school houses 123 students in Kindergarten and Grades 1-9, 17 of which are in Grade 9. Even at maximum future anticipated capacity as a K-12, the school is only expected to see a total of 300 students.

In April, council approved the rezoning of the land to allow for the Kin Kanyon Concept Plan to work on conjunction with the new school. Included in the plan is the relocation of the unlit rink in the area, the demolition and relocation of the school, relocation of the playground, addition of a shared 34 stall parking lot, building of a Class A soccer field, a proposed community centre for the future as well as a future splash pad.

An overall total cost of the project was not presented to council but some of the City costs that would be associated include $20,000 for the relocation of the one rink, ongoing maintenance of the soccer field and maintenance of the parking lot for 30 years.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling said he is happy the school can move forward with the development.

“It started out where there was the objection from the community in Aspen Ridge. We have to listen to what the community is saying. Everyone knows we can’t please everyone 100 per cent of the time but frankly when 100 per cent of the community says we don’t want that school here then we have to listen,” said Flewwelling. “To have forced the issue – everything that would have gone wrong in that community from then on would have been the school’s fault.”

He added council realized how important the new facility was to the francophone board.

“Our challenge was to work with the francophone board to make it work with the site,” said Flewwelling. “They originally wanted to put it on that site but it was short by two metres. They then abandoned that site and looked to the Aspen Ridge site. We worked with them by being creative and we were able to put everything on that site. It is a win-win.”

The new school is expected to open in September 2014.