The Alberta 2023-24 Budget was announced on February 28, and part of the budget involves a replacement of Westmount School.
Superintendent of the Golden Hills School Division (GHSD) Bevan Daverne said this is something the GHSD has wanted to do for quite some time, so he is very happy to see it in the budget.
"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.
Given how recent the announcement is, Daverne said it's too early to start talking about specific details, as the GHSD and the government will need to do a lot of pre-planning work.
"Is it better to build the school on another portion of the site and then tear down the existing school when it's done? Or should we tear down first and then build, and if we do that, what do we do with the students? So all of those are really good questions for us to explore. Obviously, it's the easiest thing from a construction and a student perspective if we can build the school somewhere else on the site, however, there will be challenges with other places on the site. Lots to work through, but that's part of the pre planning."
Westmount School is currently 53 years old, which Daverne said is typically the end of life for many buildings. On top of potential safety concerns coming from an older building, a newer building would also save many costs, as things like electricity and heating would be cheaper, and there also wouldn't have to be so many costly maintenance projects like roof repairs and wire upgrading.
The government also announced Brooks Junior High School will be getting replaces, and a new K-9 school will be built in Chestermere, among many other projects across the province.
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