On Wednesday, March 1, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) received funding from the Government of Alberta for the design of a new Kindergarten to Grade 5 school in Blackfalds. 

RDCRS’ current Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 9 school located in Blackfalds, St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, was anticipated to open in 2017 at a 75% utilization rate however, opened at a 95% utilization rate. Since then, enrollment has continued to rise exponentially, with the school now operating at a 122% utilization rate in its sixth year of operation. 

Due to increased enrollment, open spaces and common areas at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School have been repurposed as additional classrooms and modulars were added in November 2022.

“We are very pleased to receive funding to support the design work for a new elementary school in Blackfalds. This funding will allow us to consult stakeholders, design the building, and begin to prepare the site for building. We aim to have this early work completed in time to have the building dollars announced in the government’s 2024 budget, meaning construction could begin as early as spring or summer of 2024. If we’re able to meet that timeline, we could welcome students as early as September 2026,” said Board Chair, Anne Marie Watson at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

“While this is an aggressive timeline, the need for this school is well-documented. Blackfalds is one of Alberta’s fastest growing communities and home to a high population of young families. RDCRS has been working with the Town of Blackfalds on determining an appropriate site for this new school, and will announce that site soon. The RDCRS Board of Trustees will also soon initiate a process to name the school and engage with the community regarding school boundaries.”

RDCRS is appreciative of the funding provided from the Government of Alberta and looks forward to additional funding in future budgets.