Rocky View Schools to pay $640,000 in portable permits
By: Allison Chorney
| Posted: Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 11:03 am
In a unanimous decision on Nov. 21, the Rocky View Schools (RVS) board of trustees voted to allow the division’s facility planning department to proceed with development and building permit applications for 32 portables.
The decision comes before the Alberta Government has identified the budget for modular classroom for the upcoming school year.
Director of Facility Planning John Wheatley said the reason the decision was brought to the board before the provincial budget is announced was because the 2013 to 2014 modular approval process did not provide adequate time to complete portable installations before the beginning of the school year.
“We need to do what we can as a board to get that going and moving forward,” said Trustee Fiona Gilbert.
Wheatley said the risk to RVS for proceeding before the provincial government announcements is minimal and will cost approximately $20,000 per unit for the permit applications.
“These are not costs because we’re doing it early,” he said, “these are costs that are typical.”
The cost for the permits will come from RVS with the hope that the provincial budget will reimburse at least a portion of the cost.
In the past, the Province has paid for new portables but in the 2013 to 2014 school year the government imposed a cost-sharing arrangement with schools boards, requiring them to fund 50 per cent of the cost.
“These are desperately needed accommodations for students,” said Darrell Couture, associate superintendent of business and operations.
He added if the portables are not accommodated in the provincial budget for 2014 to 2015, they will likely be in the following budget.
The decision will result in application for permits for 19 new portables and 13 relocated portables.
The priority list for the modular classroom request is as follows:
1. Cochrane’s Mitford School: five new portables and five relocated portables from George McDougall High School
2. Airdrie’s Heron’s Crossing School: two new portables and two relocated from Muriel Clayton Middle School
3. Chestermere area’s Prince of Peace Lutheran School: two new portables
4. Chestermere’s Rainbow Creek Elementary School: two new portable
5. Airdrie’s Meadowbrook School: two relocated portables from Ralph McCall School
6. Chestermere’s East Lake School: four new portables
7. Cochrane’s Elizabeth Barrett Elementary School: two new portables connected by a link to four existing portables
8. Airdrie’s École Edwards Elementary School: two new portables
Wheatley said the priority list was determined based on RVS schools with capacity at more than 95 per cent.
The board also approved the $550,000 required to attach the four freestanding units at Elizabeth Barrett to main building. If the Province approves the request for two new portables at the school, they too will be connected to the attaching link. Rocky View County’s cash in lieu will provide 50 per cent of the funding for this project and the additional 50 per cent will come from RVS’ maintenance reserves.
The additional cost for the Elizabeth Barrett attachment link is a one-time requirement to connect the portables to the main building.
Wheatley said there is no set date for when the provincial budget will be released and added facility planning may come back to the board in the spring to request approval to begin construction on foundations.
The Province approved 16 of the 20 modular classrooms requested by RVS for the 2013 to 2014 school year.