Rocky View Schools is very disappointed that Education Minister Adrianna LaGrange's failure to announce RVS for new school builds in Budget 2023.
Despite the provincial budget fronting $2.3 billion over the next three years, for building new or modernizing aging schools, RVS was not on the list of the 13 new builds.
Rocky View Schools Board Chair, Norma Lang says, “I can tell you that Rocky View Schools is frustrated and somewhat disappointed with the announcement that we listened to this morning.”
While some places within RVS, like Cochrane, appeared on the list for funding for planning, Lang says, “Capital planning projects is not enough for Rocky View Schools. We fully expected that we would have at least a few of the full capital announcements for immediate construction funding out of those 13 that were announced.”
The RVS board will be meeting tomorrow (Thursday, March 2) to regroup and talk about the situation. Lang says, “We have to dig into the information and really develop an understanding for some of the new types of funding below capital project planning, we are not really sure what that means.” Lang is referring to LaGrange’s announcement saying, “We have also created a school planning program. This new program will serve as a pipeline for school projects. It is intended to further develop the project scope and to complete site investigations work so that projects can hit the ground running as soon as a formal design or construction is approved. We have approved 14 school projects for this new program.” One RVS school in Airdrie made it onto the list of 14.
Another new category announced by LaGrange was pre-planning funds which were described as, “Pre-planning funding is intended for projects that are anticipated to be high priorities in the coming years. So, this includes projects in newer developing neigbourhoods or projects that are still reasonably affordable to maintain and operate but have several facility systems nearing the end of their lifespan."
Two of the eleven schools on the preplanning list were under RVS jurisdiction Cochrane and Chestermere.
Despite the disappointment in the announcement, Lang says, “We are going to have to continue advocating for funding. Hopefully, they (the government) will be able to move up some of those projects that are down on the list, and we are going to have to keep impressing on them the urgency. We thought we did effectively sound the alarm on our needs in Rocky View Schools.”
It appears that the alarm was not loud enough.