The Government of Alberta announced Feb. 28 Westmount Elementary School is to be replaced as part of a $2.3 billion investment in modernizing classrooms over the next three years.

Construction of the new school is one of a total 58 projects the province is investing in and is among 13 full construction projects across Alberta.

“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,” said Minister of Education, Adrianna LaGrange. “By investing in our schools, we’re investing in our students while at the same time creating more jobs and supporting the local economy.”

According to Golden Hills School Division (GHSD) Superintendent, Bevan Daverne, this is something the division has had their eye on for some time.

“It’s an older school, we’ve made lots of upgrades on it overtime, but it’s nearing end of life. It’s really exciting news, very good news for Strathmore and for Westmount School and for Golden Hill School Division,” he said.

Daverne added it is too early to talk specifics regarding the plan for the school, though there are still several factors which will need to be ironed out before construction/demolition can begin. 

This will include decisions regarding whether to tear down the school first and use the existing site, or begin construction on the new building on another segment of the property prior to demolishing the old school.

Should the current building be torn down first, students will have to be relocated into different schools while the new facility is under construction. 

Westmount School as it stands is a 53-year-old building, which Daverne explained is the approximate age which typically marks the end of life for a building like this. 

In addition to a new building solving many potential safety concerns, maintenance would also be exponentially more affordable in the long run, as repairs and upgrades would be required much less often, and utilities such as heating and electricity would be cheaper.

There is no announced date for when the new facility will officially be under construction, nor for when the current Westmount School will be demolished.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 09, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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