April 13, 2011 – Airdrie is in dire need of schools and has been for quite some time. The once-small town has quickly grown into a city, with a population expected to be over 40,000 people in 2011. The city currently does not have enough schools, does not have proper healthcare and is still run more like a town than a city that is not only experiencing strong growth, but a city that is trying to encourage strong growth.
Rockyview School Division (RVS) Budget of 2012 -2015
The RVS has announced approval of its 2012-2015 budget, which will see the addition of two more high schools and one more middle school. However, it does not acknowledge the completion of another school that has already been scheduled for construction in 2012.
Williamstown/Reunion School in Airdrie
The new school that will be on the borders of Williamstown and Reunion is designed to house students from grades K-8. The NorthEast side of Airdrie is growing very quickly and currently, students from this area are shipped as far as the opposite quadrant of the city.
The new Rockyview budget does not reference the new school, only that the contingency plan will see the Williamstown/Reunion school built for students K-2. This means that after grade 2, students will be moved to another school, most likely Nose Creek Elementary, and after two years there, moved to yet another school
Solution for Airdrie Schools
The question is raised: Why doesn’t RVS approve the whole Williamstown school to be completed. A middle school is already approved for the 2012-2015 budget, so why not build the whole K-8 school, build it right, and solve a good portion of the problem. Otherwise, you are just going to be messing around with changing bus routes, overcrowding schools and let’s not forget the social effects, of relocating young kids into a strange school and then relocating them very soon afterwards.
Below is my letter to the editor of the Airdrie Echo, regarding this whole mess:
“In response to Rockyview School Division approving their 2012-2015 budget and not including any mention of the Williamstown school: ‘What are you thinking?’
The Williamstown school has been fast-tracked to offer much needed school space and to alleviate the pressure on Nose Creek Elementary. It is planned to house students K-2. ‘And then what?’
Will the young grade 3 students then be expected to move over to Nose Creek, only to stay there two years and then move on again to yet another school? Not only is that very unfair to all the young students at the Williamstown school, but it’s going to be an even heavier burden on Nose Creek Elementary, pushing two more grades into an already crowded school.
How can anyone approve a budget that does not see the completion of a school that has already been scheduled to begin?
Here is your solution, it’s so obvious it hurts: The 2012-2015 budget approves a middle school to be built – so complete the whole Williamstown school! Then you will have your elementary and your middle school without having to reshuffle everyone and mess around with bus routes and issues of extreme overcrowding.
Do the job right instead of temporary fixes and get the priorities straight. Airdrie is fast-growing city with many young families and it’s time to be managed like a big city and ensure enough schooling exists for residents. Our children can not wait another 10 years for enough school space to accommodate them; their education depends on some smart heads getting together and making this happen.”
Airdrie has seen very strong growth over the last few years and another census is scheduled to take place this spring. It is expected Airdrie population will exceed 40,000 people. Although a city, it does not have enough schools for proper education, nor does it have adequate health services. The schools are mostly 80% capacity to over 100% capacity and there is no hospital or 24-hour emergency centers (which is all fine until the QEII Highway gets closed due to bad weather conditions.) The city encourages growth and wants to expand, but much-needed attention to essential services are required before Airdrie can be considered as a very desirable city to live in.