Calgary

Langdon parents say need for high school in hamlet at 'critical point'

The community of Langdon, east of Calgary has a population of 5,000 people, but no high school.

'If they want us to be louder, we'll be louder'

Chrissy Craig said the plan for the 40-acre lot involves a school and a recreation centre. The land is shovel ready, but the funding for the project was part of this year's provincial budget. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Parents in the southern Alberta hamlet of Langdon say the need for a local high school is at a critical point, but after being left off the list for provincial funding this year, residents are pushing the government to make it a higher priority.

Forty acres of construction-ready land is currently empty on Langdon's outskirts. Residents have been working for more than twelve years to have a high school built on the lot.

The town currently has two schools — one serving kindergarten-aged children to Grade 5 and another for kindergarten-aged kids to Grade 9. High school-age kids are bused to nearby Chestermere for school every day.

"It's a very small-town community where people don't want to drive to the city, or drive to Chestermere. They want to stay where they live and raise their families," said said Chrissy Craig, the chair of the Langdon Community.

The town, which is located about 36 kilometres east of Calgary, has a population of over 5,000 people, which Craig said has grown 20 per cent in the last five years.

And, she said, with two new developments currently under construction, its population is on track to double within another 10 years. And nearby, Chestermere High School is already nearing capacity.

"We're at a critical point where we need this school," Craig said.

Langdon is one of only two municipalities with a population of over 5,000 in Alberta that does not have its own high school. The other is Redcliff, near Medicine Hat.  

The plan for the school also involves a recreation centre, which will make the site a hub for the community, Craig said.

'We'll be louder'

The decision to not include Langdon on the list for new school funding this year was based on the Rocky View School Division's three-year capital plan, according to the Department of Education.

However, a spokesperson for Rocky View Schools told CBC News that a high school for Langdon is the number one priority in its 2018-2021 capital plan.

The province is encouraging parents to work closely with their board to ensure the submissions clearly articulate the needs going forward.

However, Langdon parent Lisa Baker said she doesn't believe that.

"We don't always know the story, but it seems like there's things that are outside of our control right now. So no, I don't think it's that the parents aren't loud enough, if they want us to be louder, we'll be louder," she said.

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