Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools (CTR) has requested funding for a new school.

They’re hoping to address an issue that’s been their top priority for over three years: building a replacement for Good Shepherd School.

According to Superintendent Dr. Scott Morrison, the school’s wooden roof is in need of remediation, but with that would come a long list of additional costs.

“Once we replace the wood roof structure with steel, our walls are no longer strong enough, so we have to rebuild the walls. Once you rebuild them, the foundation’s not strong enough so we’d have to rebuild the foundation. 

“Essentially, to remediate Good Shepherd we’d have to tear it down section by section the rebuild it entirely, and that’s completely impractical when we have students there, we‘re not going to put our students in an active construction zone, which is why we think the only logical solution is to demolish hat school and to replace it with brand new construction in the D’Arcy Ranch subdivision.”

He also points to issues with the plot of land where the school currently resides.

“The school is built in a very marshy area; it’s a low-lying area and we have all kinds of overland drainage issues.”

The school is safe as it is, and while there is no imminent concern over the school’s structure, Morrison says engineers who have inspected the building did determine remediation was necessary.

They’ve submitted a detailed project list to the Ministry of Education, as well as a site readiness report.

“We’ve got a shovel ready site that, thanks to the Town of Okotoks, we can begin building on almost immediately. We’re really well-positioned to move on a new construction announcement immediately,” says Morrison.

He’s got a good feeling that CTR is well positioned to get approval for the project, partially because of that shovel-ready site and because the province has been receptive to CTR’s application.

On top of that, Morrison feels the project is exactly the kind of thing the province and Ministry of Education are looking to fund at the moment.

“Rapid growth and making sure you’ve got safe facilities; those are the top two reasons you get new schools. Obviously because of the expansion of D’Arcy we’re growing rapidly, and we know the school needs to be remediated so those are two things that should place us very high on the list. And thankfully, I’ve noticed on Premier Smith’s mandate letter to the Minister of Education, Adrianna LaGrange, one of her mandates is to drastically increase the number of schools in the province.”

If the project is approved, Morrison says the school would run under a K-9 configuration and would retain the Good Shepherd School name.

The province typically announces a slew of capital projects each spring, so CTR is expecting an answer around March of 2023.