After careful consideration, Lethbridge School District No. 51 has determined there will not be any boundary changes for the 2019/2020 school year.
However, when examining the growing student numbers on the westside of the city, boundary changes will be required at some time in the future.
From a high school perspective, Chinook High School is currently at 89 per cent capacity, while Dr. Probe Elementary School is at 99 per cent and Coalbanks Elementary is currently at 91 per cent. The District’s other westside elementary schools, École Nicholas Sheran and Mike Mountain Horse, sit at 86 and 82 per cent capacity, respectively.
According to estimates, the westside of Lethbridge could gain anywhere from 800-1,000 students over the next 10 years. As per The City of Lethbridge census, west Lethbridge was the fastest-growing area of the city in 2018, with a 2.24 per cent growth rate.
Lethbridge School District No. 51 continues to stress the need for a new elementary school in west Lethbridge. City of Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman has submitted a letter of support for the school, delivered to both the Minister of Education David Eggen and the Minister of Infrastructure Sandra Jansen.
In a letter to Spearman, Minister Eggen has stated the request is being carefully reviewed and considered during the development of Alberta Education’s capital plan submission for Budget 2019, along with the capital requests of other school jurisdictions across the province.
The process of building a new elementary school on the westside does require a number of steps. It begins with The City of Lethbridge providing a school site.
The province requires that the site includes the necessary services, such as roads, water, sewer services and electricity. It may take 6-12 months to plan and design a new school, and if a serviced site is available and government funding has been secured, another 18-24 months to construct the school.
For the 2019/2010 school year, the District has secured three more portable classrooms, two of which will be utilized at Dr. Probe, with the third at Coalbanks.