Clearview Public Schools. (File photo)

Clearview Public Schools. (File photo)

Clearview Public Schools reviews status report on Stettler Elementary and Middle Schools

If approved by the province, the Stettler school campus could have a significantly different look within a few years based on a plan reviewed by the Clearview Public Schools board during its June 22 meeting.

One of Clearview Public School’s priorities has been the modernization and improvements to the Stettler school campus; as part of the process, a two-day “value-scoping” process was completed with representatives from the government, the school division, and the town.

The report generated from that process revealed that the school is significantly larger than it needs to be, as it currently sits at a 44 per cent utilization rate. Stettler’s current approximate enrolment is just over 650 students and the facility has a capacity for over 1,550.

Also noted in the report is that the middle school needs extensive work on the mechanical and electrical systems, that there is an insufficient student gathering space in the middle school or the high school for all the students, and that while the facility succeeds in mainly barrier-free for those with disabilities, due to the many additions over the years the routes individuals need to take can be lengthy and meandering.

The original Stettler School space was built in 1961 but has had additions in 1962, 1986, 1999, and 2008. The report notes that the 2008 addition included a modernization of the Wm. E. Hay Secondary Campus.

Stettler School Campus consists of elementary, middle, and high schools split between three buildings.

While the report shows that the school is over capacity in terms of regular classroom space, it is under regarding space dedicated to science, information services and other needs. Something else noted in the report is that the multiple gymnasiums “provide twice the area that would be provided today” and that they are built with a height much lower than today’s guidelines.

As part of the review, eight different options were prepared for upgrades to the Stettler School campus.

Clearview’s board picked the second option, which would see new mechanical and electrical infrastructure placed throughout the existing high school; additionally, the existing middle and elementary schools would be demolished to create a new elementary facility, with a new gymnasium, on the existing school footprint, at a cost of $96.5 million to be funded by the province, if approved as a capital project.

The new building would feature a central learning commons between the elementary part and the high school, large enough to hold the full school body. The new campus would be based on a school population of 740, down from the existing 1,550.

Despite the decision, there is no guarantee when, or if, the new construction will happen; the report states that the Government of Alberta receives requests for around 400 new school projects every year with anywhere between 15 and 50 being approved.

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