Students in seven communities across the province will start the school year in new surroundings as 15 new schools open in Alberta.

The new buildings are part of a $2.4 billion promise made by Premier Alison Redford to open 50 new schools and modernize another 70 over the next four years.


Alberta Infrastructure Minister Wayne Drysdale says the province is on track to meet its promise of 50 new schools in the next 4 years. (CBC News)

"That's ambitious but we're on track to do it," said Infrastructure Minister Wayne Drysdale.

"I mean you can't build them all right away or in the first year …  We're opening 15 great schools, so that leads to her commitment for sure."

Four of the new schools will be opened in Edmonton, with another six in Calgary.

Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, Millet, Langdon and Okotoks will also see new facilities.

The 15 schools cost the province about $350 million. Drysdale admited the government’s revenue forecasts are down but said he’s confident the money for the other schools will be found in the coming year.

"We've pretty much got that list but now we need the money from treasury board to go along with it."

Opposition members aren’t convinced, however. Liberal Education Critic Kent Hehr said the province needs a firm plan on how to pay for the new schools.

"We are going to have a lot of students without classrooms in the coming years if the PCs don’t come up with a plan of action for new school priorities," Hehr said in a release.

The Liberals suggest tax increases for corporations and high-income Albertans, as well as changes to the province’s carbon levy, as possible ways to raise money for new schools.