New high school tops list of priorities for Edmonton Public Schools

In its capital plan, which was approved Tuesday, the Edmonton public school board is asking for a new high school in the Meadows neighbourhood in southeast Edmonton.

Board expects existing high schools to be full to capacity by 2022

The Edmonton Public School Board is focusing on increasing high school capacity in its capital plan for 2018-2022. (iStock)

Edmonton Public Schools is asking for a new high school in the Meadows neighborhood in southeast Edmonton as part of its new capital plan, which was approved Tuesday by trustees. 

The new high school would cost about $79 million, with an initial student capacity of 1,800. 

With the school district's total high school population expected to be close to 22,000 students by 2022, assistant superintendent Lorne Parker said improving high school capacity is crucial.

"One of the significant challenges that we have is that we are going to see growth at the high school level," said Parker. "We desperately need to have that high school announced."

Parker said a new high school in Heritage Valley, announced in November 2017, will alleviate some of the pressure when it opens in 2021. But that alone is not enough.

"The growth that we have seen in the younger years will be hitting high school age very shortly."
Edmonton Public Schools expects its high schools to reach maximum capacity by 2022. (Edmonton Public Schools)

The capital plan identifies 25 priorities for the next three years. 

Second on the list is a school cluster in the Westlawn neighborhood in the west end. 

It would entail closing four existing schools that are in close proximity to create a new space for students. The board is asking the province to fund $25 million of the total $40-million cost.

A new school for students from kindergarten to Grade 9 in the Chappelle East neighborhood in is third on the list. 

The school would accommodate 750 students, and cost $28 million to build.