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Investing in new schools, modernized spaces

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Alberta’s government is investing $2.3 billion over the next three years, for new and modernized classrooms.

Budget 2023 supports 58 projects, which includes 13 full construction projects, 20 design, 14 planning and 11 pre-planning projects. In total, there will be nearly 25,000 new and additional spaces for students across Alberta – 9,400 new spaces and more than 15,500 student upgraded spaces. This includes approximately 4,500 new and upgraded spaces in Calgary, 4,100 in Edmonton and 16,300 for the rest of the province.

“Alberta’s young learners are the community and business leaders of tomorrow. They need the right spaces to gain the tools and skills needed to prepare for their bright futures. By investing in our schools, we’re investing in our students while at the same time creating more jobs and supporting the local economy.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

This investment in education infrastructure includes:

  • $372 million for construction and design projects:
    • 10 new schools
    • 16 replacement schools
    • seven modernizations
  • $4 million to support planning activities such as site analysis and scope development for 14 projects
  • $1 million to pre-plan 11 conceptual projects that are anticipated to become high-priority needs for school jurisdictions
  • $1 billion to continue work on previously announced projects
  • $300 million over three years in school authority self-directed capital projects
  • $279 million to support the maintenance and renewal of existing school buildings through the Capital Maintenance and Renewal Program
  • $171 million to support public charter school infrastructure, including investment for a charter hub in Calgary
  • $43 million to fund facility upgrades for successful collegiate school applicants
  • $93 million for the modular classroom program to address urgent space needs across the province

"The Alberta government is investing in critical infrastructure projects that include upgrading and building high-quality schools to ensure Albertans can send their children to schools in their local communities. Our focus is on ensuring these projects are delivered on time, on budget and where they’re needed.”

Nathan Neudorf, Minister of Infrastructure

The availability of suitable sites has been one of the biggest roadblocks causing delays to school projects. That’s why, through Budget 2023, Alberta’s government is creating a new School Planning Program that will serve as a transparent "pipeline" for upcoming school projects to begin as soon as formal construction funding is approved. Fourteen school projects will begin planning and site development through this new program while a further 11 projects will receive pre-planning funding to assist with developing scope options.

The planning program will allow for the further development of project scope and site investigation work. It will also help to clarify potential risks and identify mitigating strategies and costs. The goal is to provide school boards with the resources they need to remove barriers and better position the project for design consideration and construction approval in future budget cycles, which is expected to reduce costs and minimize schedule disruptions and delays.

“The Calgary Catholic Board of Trustees is grateful for the capital projects announced for the Calgary Catholic School District, which includes full funding for the K-9 school in Nolan Hill to serve this rapidly growing community. We anticipate receiving the full construction funding for the Rangeview high school and Chestermere K-9 school as soon as possible, after the design process is completed. These projects need urgent attention given the critical need for school infrastructure and CCSD’s high utilization rate in these communities. CCSD appreciates the pre-planning commitment towards the construction of the K-9 school in Redstone, the addition/enhancement of Bishop McNally High School and the construction of a new west-end high school.”

Cathie Williams, board chair, Calgary Catholic School District

“On behalf of CBE students and their families, we thank the Government of Alberta for the capital plan announcement. These extraordinary and timely investments in infrastructure are vital to support student learning opportunities within our system.”

Laura Hack, board chair, Calgary Board of Education

“This is an exciting day for Elk Island Public Schools, for the community and especially for students of both École Campbelltown and Sherwood Heights Junior High. A modern, well-equipped and efficient building will allow us to continue to offer the quality education students need to succeed in the classroom and will help ease the growth pressures we are facing in Sherwood Park.”

Trina Boymook, board chair, Elk Island Public Schools

Quick facts:

  • Full construction funding activities include construction and post-occupancy review.
  • Design funding activities include the preparation of construction tender documents such as drawings and specifications.
  • Planning funding activities include site analysis and scope development activities.
  • Pre-planning funding allows a conceptual project to define scope elements, programming priorities and includes activities such as community engagement.
  • To support the decision-making process for delivering infrastructure projects, the Ministry of Infrastructure passed the Infrastructure Accountability Act in December 2021. This act outlines how the province prioritizes projects for the annual capital plan.
  • As legislated by the act, the government also published Building Forward: Alberta's 20-Year Strategic Capital Plan in December 2021, providing a blueprint for long-term infrastructure investment and development in Alberta.
  • The government’s budget decisions are made in accordance with the act and are guided by the strategic capital plan to ensure future capital investments benefit Albertans.
  • Government partners, such as municipalities and school boards, will also be able to plan for capital funding knowing the long-term direction of government.

...read the full News Release online - including lists of school projects