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UCP government announces full construction funding for 6 schools in Calgary and area

The Alberta government says work is progressing on dozens of new schools across the province and six in the Calgary area have received full construction funding through Budget 2024. (File) The Alberta government says work is progressing on dozens of new schools across the province and six in the Calgary area have received full construction funding through Budget 2024. (File)
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The City of Calgary, along with three other communities in southern Alberta, will be seeing new schools that are fully funded for construction through Budget 2024.

The UCP government made the announcement on Friday, saying the money comes from a $2.1 billion capital investment over the next three years that would advance 43 priority school projects.

"These are significant dollars and we're proud to do it," said Premier Danielle Smith during Friday's announcement.

"Today's investments in new schools and modernized spaces will benefit students and communities for decades to come."

The new fully-funded schools are:

  • A new K-4 school in Calgary's Evanston community;
  • A new Grade 10-12 Catholic school in Calgary's Rangeview community;
  • A new K-9 Catholic school in Chestermere;
  • A new K-8 school in Cochrane;
  • A new K-8 school in Airdrie's South Windsong community; and
  • A new K-8 school in Airdrie's Bayview community.

Progress is also being made on other schools, officials said, with design funding earmarked for nine schools in Calgary and area and planning funding handed out for three more proposed schools in Calgary.

"We are helping young Albertans follow their dreams and realize their full potential," said Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides.

Boards 'grateful' for funding

Shannon Cook, board chair of the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD), says she is grateful to see funding commitments from the province for much-needed schools in the city.

"We look forward to working with the government to get shovels in the ground on these projects as quickly as possible. These projects require urgent attention given the critical need for school infrastructure and Calgary Catholic's high utilization rates in these communities."

Cook said CCSD's enrollment is growing "almost daily" and they face challenges from their own budgets and student needs.

"Today's capital plan announcement will help address the ongoing pressures of growing enrollment in our schools."

In its budget announcement Thursday, the UCP government said $1.9 billion is being spent on new schools, but it said the bulk of those new schools were previously announced ahead of the document's release.

According to Budget 2024's capital plan, $507 million is allocated for previously announced school projects next year while just $85 million in new money is earmarked for capital projects in schools for 2024-25.

The following years will see higher contributions – $279 million in 2025-26 and $316 million in 2026-27.

Alberta's modular classroom plan will receive $50 million in 2024-25, with $28 million in 2025-26 and $25 million in 2026-27.

Exact funding for private schools unclear

Budget 2024 also includes $80 million for collegiates and charter school expansions, building on what the UCP government is touting as "providing more education choices for students and parents."

Nicolaides couldn't immediately provide a breakdown of how much money would be going to private schools as opposed to early childhood education centres, but said the decision came from a government commitment to Albertans.

"We want to make sure there is funding available to a variety of educational partners and providers, be they private schools, charter schools and/or others to ensure they can provide programming as well.

"We are also aggressively increasing operating funding to our public school divisions by 4.4 per cent, that's just under $400 million."

The government says it is currently funding 98 school projects, which are at various stages of development, across the province.

Once complete, they will add more than 35,000 modern spaces to provide enhanced learning for tomorrow's students.

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