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Province boosts funding for a Calgary charter high school slated for replacement

Last Updated Mar 10, 2019 at 10:01 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — A local charter school organization is breathing a sigh of relief after the province granted them badly needed funding for a new high school.

Foundations for the Future Charter Academy‘s current high school in the northwest end of the city is over 60 years old and in desperate need of repairs. An engineering report found one of the two buildings has major structural issues including cracks in the masonry and sinkholes. Yesterday the school received the long-awaited news.

“Officially I received a letter yesterday from David Eggen, the Minister of Education, suggesting that this project will be proceeding,” Wilson said. “The funding commitment doesn’t have a number tied to it, but it will allow us to build a 1000-person high school — something that is going to serve the needs of our community long into the future.”

The need for a new school was determined years ago, and the former Conservative government promised funding to replace the school that was to be issued in phases. However, the future of the new building was left in limbo after the last election and the final phase of funding was never issued, leaving the organization $9 million short of what they needed for the project. The organization has since managed to raise two-thirds of what they needed.

Amid the uncertainty the school has continued to operate despite its crumbling infrastructure.

“Now that we have full funding we can approach the City of Calgary for a development permit and once the design is done we go to tenders,” he said. “We hope to have shovels in the ground by fall.”

The design was essentially completed before they ran out of funding, and Wilson said they have about 10 per cent more work left to complete it.

The school community is gathering for a rally at McDougall Centre on Saturday between 1 and 3 p.m. to celebrate the funding announcement.