Wednesday, 26 October 2011 15:50

After 30 years, Brooks gets new elementary school

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By Rose Sanchez — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Grasslands School Division officials along with teachers and parents are celebrating the fact the City of Brooks will see its first new school built in more than 30 years.

Earlier this year in May, the provincial government announced Brooks would be one of the communities to receive a new school through a P3 private-public partnership.

The government will seek a consortium to bid on the building of the school as well as its maintenance for the next 30 years.

“It’s going to be state of the art,” says Rhian Schroeder, secretary-treasurer with the Grasslands School Division about the new elementary school building.

Not only will it meet the needs of the division for decades to come, it will also be built with the environment in mind, using environmentally-friendly materials and techniques.

Meetings held earlier this month in the community between school division officials, staff, parents and students, offered a chance to determine what the future schooling of students will look like. Currently Central School is a Kindergarten to Grade 1 facility and the other two elementary schools are grades 2 to 6. Officials have determined the City can support three Kindergarten to Grade 3 schools starting in September 2014 when the new school is opened.

The new building will become Kindergarten to Grade 6 and be built in Uplands. It will be able to house 450 students.

Central school will be handed over the Christ the Redeemer School Division so it will continue to serve as a school.

Value-added meetings were held in April of 2010, says Schroeder. It included various government departments and both the public and Catholic school divisions.

“We were trying to figure out the best decisions for the community as a whole,” explains Schroeder.

It was decided if Grasslands School Division were to build a new school, Central School would be given to Christ the Redeemer.

Now officials are in the process of designing what the new elementary school will look like. It is hoped the design will be completed by the beginning of December.

Division officials are excited to see a new school for the City. The last time a school was built in Brooks, it was Griffin Park  in 1979.

The city is in need of a new school building, since enrolment is continuing to increase. Grasslands has seen a more than five per cent increase in enrolment this school year alone and the younger grades are getting larger.

Central School, which can hold 350 students, is sitting at 120 per cent capacity.

“We feel fortunate to be getting a new school building,” says Schroeder.

Board chair Karen Bartsch expressed her excitement about the new school building on the Grasslands website.

“This will be the first new school in our jurisdiction in over 30 years, and we are very fortunate to be building a ‘state-of-the-art’ facility for our students.”

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