Ground has officially broken on Red Deer Public District’s newest addition, Inglewood School, located at 99 Irving Cresc.
The elementary school will be open in 2017 with accommodation for 400 students, with expansion incorporated into later planning for an additional 100 students.
Superintendent of Red Deer Public School District (RDPSD) Stu Henry, was delighted to announce the beginning of the construction of the new facility.
“We’re so excited. It’s always great news to be getting a new school,” he said.
“We’re looking at a very modern design with some outdoor classes. Those are interesting spaces and we can give the kids some fresh air. We’re looking forward to a beautiful building for our kids on the southside.”
The new school will incorporate outdoor classroom structures, intended to be used in addition to traditional classrooms. Henry said the applications lie in science, art and other programs. As well, the school architects are looking into creating an open concept building and will be creating a dedicated community space within the school.
“The City of Red Deer contributed some pretty big dollars to ensure that there would be a section of the school that is open for community use as well. We really see that as a positive asset,” Henry said.
He said the space has yet to be defined, but the District is excited to have the opportunity to engage the community within the school facility.
“We really value the idea that the community can make use of that building. It’s a way for taxpayers to pay for community space and for the school board to work with the community to bring those costs down. We haven’t defined exactly what is going to be created, but we do want there to be a space the community can use,” he said.
Bruce Buruma, director of community relations with RDPSD, said the community space is an important partnership for the City and the District.
“The community space is a partnership with the City of Red Deer. They’ve added money to the project to the tune of around $600,000 and that will provide some dedicated community space that will in essence keep the schools open beyond the regular day,” he said.
“Our schools belong to the community, and our community belongs to our schools. We want to make the schools accessible to be used after or during school hours for community use. We’re very excited about that partnership.”
Henry said the new facilities will incorporate engaging design concepts such as a, “Light spectrum theme.
“The architects are going to look at colourful learning spaces that are a little more engaging than some past school designs,” Henry explained.
“We’re also looking into more of an open concept design throughout the school as well. School designs haven’t changed too much over the years so we’re thinking maybe we need a little bit more of an opened up building.”
Buruma said the district is still engaged in defining attendance boundaries for the school and is continuing to engage the surrounding communities to determine how it will affect the District as a whole.
“We’ve had a lot of consultation with the community through online engagement and the accommodations committee is looking to bring forward a recommendation on what the attendance boundary for the school will be. There will be ripple effects with other schools as well, because we’re looking at how we can accommodate students across the District. We’ve been involved in that process for almost a year, and have connected with the community as much as we can,” he said.
The school is set to open in 2017, with more details to come.