Ward boundary bylaw fails to go to third reading
Monday, Feb 13, 2017 02:58 pm
Rocky View Schools (RVS) trustees gave first and second reading to a bylaw to amend the division’s ward boundaries at the Feb. 9 board meeting; however, the bylaw failed to proceed to third reading. Under the Education Act, permission for third reading must be unanimous – and it wasn’t, with Trustee Helen Clease and Trustee Sylvia Eggerer voting against.
Clease, trustee for Ward 4, reiterated concerns she had about the rural area in the division losing a voice due to the ward boundary revisions.
“I can’t support this because we’ve disrupted the west side of RVS,” she said.
The revised boundaries maintain the number of wards at six but increase the number of trustees to eight.
Chestermere, which is currently part of Ward 2, will get its own trustee and Ward 5 in west Rocky View County will be increased to include Springbank and Bragg Creek, which are currently part of Ward 4. Airdrie will also gain a third trustee.
Clease said she also had concerns about having had enough time to reach out to her constituents to make them aware of the impending change.
“I will honour the board’s decision but I need to make sure that my community is aware of the (planned revisions),” she said.
Eggerer said she voted against third reading in order to give Clease more time to reach out to her ward.
Superintendent of Schools Greg Luterbach said a special meeting of the board may be called as soon as Feb. 16 to bring forward third reading of the bylaw.
Luterbach reported Alberta Education had approved the division’s request for one new modular classroom at Chestermere’s Rainbow Creek Elementary School, as well as the relocation of eight existing portables from Mitford School in Cochrane to A.E. Bowers School in Airdrie.
RVS had originally requested four new portables for Rainbow Creek and ward trustee Bev LePeare said she was frustrated the government had not supported that request.
“I’m extremely disappointed in our allocation of one portable when we asked for four,” she said. “I think that’s pathetic.”
According to Collette Winter, director of planning and facilities, Rainbow Creek will be at 93 per cent utilization for the 2017-18 school year as a result of only receiving one new portable.
Capacity levels at the Chestermere schools has been identified as a concern for RVS, according to Winter.
Langdon school site
A request from RVS staff to spend $2.4 million from the division’s cash-in-lieu fund for the construction of all site services on the land being proposed for a future high school in Langdon was approved by the board of trustees Feb. 9.
The 45.33 acres were purchased in 2006 jointly with Rocky View County (RVC), Luterbach said, with the intention of building a multi-use facility including a high school and recreation centre.
Trustees approved the expenditure of up to $600,000 in July 2016 for the construction of deep services and road access to the site, however, no money has been spent to date as the division waited for RVC to finalize a design and get approval for funding its half of the construction.
According to Luterbach, engineering documents have now been finalized and site development can begin. The province has not yet announced a high school for Langdon.
Maintenance and renewal
Winter presented an overview of some of the construction and maintenance work completed recently on schools within the division to bring them up to date or fill inefficiencies.
Significant work has been completed at Chestermere High School to renovate washrooms and replace a number of pipes. Similar work has been completed at Cochrane High School and Beiseker School. Switching lighting to LED at Springbank Middle School and Muriel Clayton Middle School has also been completed, as well as a major re-paving of the parking lot at Cochrane High School.
According to Winter, just slightly less than $3 million of work was completed in 2015-16. Alberta Education has allocated approximately $5 million to RVS for work to be completed in 2016-17.
Trustees unanimously supported a request from the Beiseker Hutterite Colony to re-name the West Haven Colony School to Beiseker Colony School.
Luterbach said the decision will require ministerial approval but he did not anticipate any concerns.