North Calgary parents rally to push for new high school
A community group, pushing for the construction of a much-needed high school in Calgary's north end, held a rally on Sunday to bring attention to the issue.
The Northern Hills Community Association has been campaigning for a long time to have a new secondary school to be built in their neighbourhood in order to accommodate the growing population.
Advocates of the campaign say they've gone far too long in the community without a proper school for their high schoolers, forcing students to commute a very long way to attend class.
A concerned parent does not want to move from the area, and has suggested his kids could leave the province if a high school isn’t built in time.
“One of the options we are tossing around is if there’s no high school, we may have to send the kids out to B.C. to go to high school and live with grandma and grandpa or just grandma,” Clinton Carpenter told CTV News Calgary.
Carpenter remains optimistic that funding will be provided.
"Hopefully when the budget comes out, our voice is finally heard and it's our turn. We've been waiting too long already."
The group says the school commute take students from the communities of Harvest Hills, Coventry Hills, Country Hills Village, Panorama Hills and Hidden Valley to other neighbourhoods as far away as Crescent Heights. It's a journey that, in some cases, can take up to three hours.
Officials say there is a desperate need for a school in the community, especially when Ward 3's population has grown to 71,000 with an additional 40,000 people in communities north of that area.
In order to express their disappointment with the continued lack of action, the Advocates for North Calgary High School held a rally to push for a new building once more.
Several elected officials were scheduled to speak at the demonstration at the field set aside for the school, at 12065 Coventry Hills Way N.E.
"The Minister of Education has indicated her support and has said that this is a high priority," said Rajan Sawhney, UCP MLA for Calgary-Northeast.
"We are all collectively working hard to get this school built."
When the former NDP government announced its 2018 budget, a high school in Coventry Hills was on the books, both those plans appear to have dissolved when the UCP took power the following year.
The next closest chance for a new high school came back in 2005, when the idea was proposed on the Calgary Board of Education's capital plan. Nothing ever came to fruition from that either.
However, the CBE has admitted there remains an "ongoing need" for more schools and modernization to support students in the city.