Evergreen replacement school update to include demolition and construction timelines

By Laine Mitchell (Twitter: @Laine_Mitchell)
January 30, 2018 - 11:45am

Wild Rose School Division will be holding a public information and input meeting on the Evergreen Elementary replacement school tonight in Drayton Valley as the demolition of the old school nears.

WRSD Superintendent Brad Volkman says a loose time frame will be given on the demolition as well as construction of the new school as work on the project begins to move forward.

"We are in the design phase right now and it's hoped that by June a close to finished blueprint will be done," he says. "The teardown of the current Evergreen school will likely happen this spring, and possible construction of the new school beginning next winter sometime. The school is supposed to be open by September of 2020." 

The school will be able to house 250 students, but can be expanded to allow for 450 students with modular classrooms being added to the building when needed. That was agreed upon with Alberta Education after WRSD made a commitment to improve the utilization rates in Drayton Valley.

The meeting will also be a chance for members of the community to throw out ideas that could be added to the school that isn't covered by the provincial government, however the money would have to be fundraised and ready to be handed over to Alberta Education by the time the blueprint is complete. 

As for the look of the new building, Volkman says the school division has been actively looking at recently built schools across the province and getting ideas from them.

"It's definitely going to have more of a open concept, an open design. And what that means is schools are being built for kids to be much more collaborative in groups and working together," he says. "We are also looking at possibly putting in gender-neutral washrooms in the school, we'll have to see the public's input on things like that." 

Volkman adds that the school will most likely be built a little bit higher than where the school currently sits to ensure any water damage risks are eliminated. 

The meeting will be held at the Max Centre at 7:00pm.

Evergeen Elementary School was originally in store for a modernization, but an inspection done by Alberta Education last summer found conditions in the school were worse than anticipated. A new school was announced at the end of October 2017.

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