The 2024 – 2027 Capital Plan for the Rocky View School Division was approved by the Board of Trustees during a meeting on Thursday (March 23).

According to a summation note by RVS, seven priority projects are requested for construction approval in 2024. Airdrie is one of those priorities. While four projects were recently given design, planning and pre-planning approval by the government, the hopes are that by 2024, the construction phase of the schools will begin. 

RVS explained that school boards are required to submit their list of capital project requests to Alberta Education by April 1 each year.

"Government reviews these submissions and announces the projects it will fund in March of the following year, in conjunction with the release of the provincial budget."

RVS has developed a list of priorities in their four-year capital plan. (Graphic provided by Rocky View School Division)RVS has developed a list of priorities in their four-year capital plan. (Graphic provided by Rocky View School Division)

"RVS’ need for additional, permanent spaces for students is urgent and the Board will continue to advocate on the behalf of RVS students. With approximately 1,000 students joining RVS each year, there is a need for one to two new schools annually; however, no new RVS schools have received approval to proceed with construction since 2019," RVS stated in their briefing.

Board of Trustees Chair, Norma Lang also provided her reply to a recent letter sent by Education Minister, Adriana LaGrange to parents and guardians of RVS students. In the letter, Minister LaGrange stated that 2023 marked a change to the capital process.

"We have clearly identified key activities that school boards need to complete before full construction funding will be provided. The reality is, in the past, governments have committed full funding for projects that simply were not ready for construction. As a result, the time between announcement and build would run between 3-5 years. This could have been prevented. If projects are truly ready for construction, as they will be if they complete these key activities, builds should only take approximately 18-24 months," she stated.

LaGrange added that the level of readiness for projects on the capital list is determined in part by the province's 10-step capital process which was approved by the auditor general.

"When I met with the Rocky View School Board on March 9, I confirmed our commitment to move to construction on these much-needed projects when the key activities are complete, and projects are construction ready. Additionally, I confirmed that my department will continue to work closely with your school division to confirm and monitor the site and project readiness."

In response, Lang stated that the division is well prepared to move through the new process as quickly as it will allow, with two sites construction ready now and two more expected this year.

"We are also very hopeful for positive news soon on the 32 modular classrooms we requested from the government. This will help as a temporary measure for the upcoming school year."

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