The district has received catchment changes in recent years to alleviate some of the pressure on overcrowded schools, but it only serves as a band-aid solution so that more space can be created.
“We have significant overcrowding at McGowan Elementary and don’t really have options for any kind of catchment changes when you look at the adjacent schools also being very much over-capacity and using portables,” said SD73 Board Chair Heather Grieve. “We shared that, as well as our real need to secure the land in Aberdeen for an Aberdeen secondary school in the future.”
The school district has found a location for the future high school but still needs to receive support from the province to begin moving forward. Grieve noted that student development is being hurt by the crowded schools.
“In order to really give an environment where students are able to be fully engaged in school culture and things like that, we have a need to increase our space — and with increased space comes capital projects,” said Grieve.
The ministry has also supported a business plan for the elementary school in Batchelor Heights. However, that project was not discussed on Sunday.
“We are very supportive of the projects that they have outlined — a lot of work being done — we are hoping for some important news coming very soon,” said Minister Singh.
Along with SD73, 59 other school districts in the province have made capital requests to the ministry. The provincial budget is scheduled to be released on February 28.