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Wednesday, 25 May 2011 15:55

Hat, Bow Island students to benefit from new, improved schools

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Alberta Education
Students in Medicine Hat will benefit from a new Kindergarten-to-Grade 9 school and Bow Island students will see improvements to Bow Island Elementary School and Senator Gershaw School in their community as a result of an investment in local school infrastructure.

A total of 35 schools across Alberta will be built or modernized at an estimated cost of $550 million to cope with a student population expected to soar by about 100,000 new pupils before the end of the decade.

A new Kindergarten-to-Grade 9 public school in the Medicine Hat School District will help to alleviate enrolment pressures in this growing southern Alberta community where the nearest public school is already operating over capacity.

Environment Minister Rob Renner, MLA for Medicine Hat, hailed the project, saying, “I am very pleased that government has listened to Medicine Hat and is responding to our city’s educational needs with this critical first step.”

The Bow Island modernizations will consolidate students into Bow Island Elementary School (K-3), which will have some minor upgrades, and the modernized Senator Gershaw School (4-12), which will see major improvements to its Career and Technology Studies facilities, the gymnasium and Fine Arts areas.

“Our students are the future leaders of Alberta and it is important that they are provided with the space and opportunities they need to grow,” said Len Mitzel, MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat.

“Education is fundamental to the future of our communities and our province,” said Education Minister Dave Hancock. “With this investment, we are ensuring that our students have safe, caring, respectful and modern learning environments. It is encouraging to see the two school boards work co-operatively to address local school needs in the best interests of all the children of their growing community.”

Part of an ongoing provincial investment in school infrastructure, this new funding is being distributed for top school infrastructure priorities and to ensure dollars are directed to critical areas.

This is in addition to the Alberta Schools Alternative Procurement (ASAP) project phase two which includes 10 new schools in Okotoks, Langdon, Calgary and Edmonton, opening September 2012. Four new high schools will also open in Edmonton, Calgary, Spruce Grove and Sherwood Park in 2013.

"Alberta Infrastructure will deliver high quality schools that are bright, welcoming spaces, equipped with the latest technology and designed to adapt to changing educational needs,” said Infrastructure Minister Ray Danyluk. ”These will be buildings that work - for students, for teachers and for the entire community. We will move forward on these projects immediately and our goal is to open the doors for students by 2014."

Projects will be delivered through a combination of public-private partnerships and regional bundles. This approach allows projects to be completed faster than would otherwise be possible, while taking full advantage of core school designs, economies of scale and private-sector innovations.

The Alberta government is working to build a better Alberta by fostering economic growth, strengthening our health and education systems, investing in infrastructure, supporting safe and strong communities and ensuring a clean and healthy environment. Details of these and other school infrastructure projects can be found on the Alberta Education website at www.education.alberta.ca.

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