The tender for construction of the new West Park Middle School went out this week, according to Red Deer Public Schools Associate Superintendent Della Ruston.
Ruston said they expect the tender to last four weeks.
The district is currently awaiting the City of Red Deer to approve its development permit application. Ruston said nearby residents had been notified and feedback taken until the end of January.
The current West Park Middle School opened in 1968 and will be torn down once the new school opens in 2019, Ruston said.
Alberta Education requires its buildings to be certified with a silver rating under LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), she said. However with the new school, they are building to the gold standard, she added.
Also, the school, with a capacity for 500 students in Grades 6-8, will be included in a provincial solar energy program.
“So we’ll be receiving some funding to incorporate some solar technology in the school. We plan to put solar chimneys on the building, which is quite unique in Alberta. We’re looking to do things as efficiently and effectively as possible and creating really good learning opportunities for the students,” Ruston said.
Ruston said students had the chance to sit on their design committee, working with the architect and sharing ideas.
“West Park will be a very innovative learning space. Lots of modern technology, lots of glazing in the building so students will be able to see how the mechanical systems work, how the elevator in the building works,” she said.
Ruston said another one of Red Deer Public’s new schools, Don Campbell Elementary, will be an exciting place to be.
Construction for the Kindergarten to Grade 5 school, located in Inglewood, is ahead of schedule, with the division expecting to take possession in April. At that point, they’ll start moving in ahead of the fall opening.
There will be plenty of collaborative areas, including break out spaces, two outdoor classrooms, garage doors between classrooms and shared space with the City of Red Deer, Ruston said.
The middle of the school will include a music room and performance area.
It will also be visually appealing.
“We have lots of exciting colours based on the spectrum of light,” Ruston said. “It will be a really fun, exciting place to be, very student-friendly. I think it really does reflect current pedagogy where there’s lots of collaboration.”
Over at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, the construction crew is testing the heating and ventilation systems for the new St. Joseph High School, set to open in September, according to Communications Coordinator Haleigh Packer.
She adds furniture is arriving this week, with fencing storage units and job site offices starting to be removed.