With funding from the Alberta Government, Stony Plain Central School will be replaced with a new updated building.
MLA Erin Babcock was in attendance at Stony Plain Central to discuss with some students the recently announced replacement of their school.
Speaking with Grade 6 Social Studies students, Babcock answered numerous question about what the new school will look like, how many kids it will house, and when will it open.
The existing school was built in 1971 and has housed thousands of students currently holding almost 700 kindergarten to Grade 9 students. The increase in class sizes has brought the school overcapacity meaning non-classroom spaces like the gyms and learning commons are being used for instruction. Babcock spoke to how the new school will impact this saying, "I expect to see about 900 spaces compared to the 600 or so kids that are in SPC now, which will allow us to have growth in our community and allow us to make sure you guys (the students) have a place to grow and learn and have those spaces".
Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Parkland School Division, Eric Cameron also spoke to what the new school would fit saying it would comfortably fit around 800 students without the cramming going on in the current building.
The structure itself is of concern to MLA Babcock as well as she explains the update, "The structure here is not in great shape so it's going to allow us to have a structure here that's going to last us a very long time, and the Town of Stony Plain and Parkland School Division are working together to try and make sure there's going to be some rec centre stuff involved.
Speaking to possible locations of the new school, Chairman Cameron has some ideas in mind saying, "We have a good general idea of where it's going to go, we know we can't be tearing down the school before the new school is built, so we do need to do a build while the school exists, so it's not going to be on this site, but probably on the old Memorial site, which is a large site because it was a big high school".
Cameron also shed some light on how long the school division has been working on this idea. Noting the progress they have made to address over-crowding in Spruce Grove he states, "It's time to concentrate on Stony Plain so this has been on our books for probably 4 years, but it's risen to the top of our list very quickly and that's why we're so pleased it was acted on by the government so quickly, and we're tickled pink that this is happening".
Babcock also took time to explain to the students where the money is coming from to fund the infrastructure project as she says, "The money comes from the Alberta Education Ministry and they pass it over to the Infrastructure Ministry so they can make sure the project is on time and on budget".
The replacement is part of 20 new school projects the provincial government has committed to as they assist with the economic recovery in Alberta.
The new school is expected to be completed in 2022-23.