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Construction of long-awaited north Calgary high school will start in early 2021.

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

OTA is very excited to be part of this amazing project. Read more on the details below.

Source: Lucie Edwardson · CBC News · Posted: Dec 03, 2020

Building of the north Calgary high school is expected to begin in January. (Alberta Infrastructure)The province says shovels will be in the ground early in the new year for construction of the long-awaited north Calgary high school. Minister of infrastructure Prasad Panda said they're weeks away from awarding the contract to a builder, and expect the school to be open for students in 2023. "This is something that's very close to my heart because I have not hundreds, but thousands of friends that live in that area that are eagerly waiting for this school," he said. "It's unfortunate some of their kids are already in university. At least for the next generation it's helpful." More than a decade ago, the site, at 12065 Coventry Hills Way N.E., across the street from Nose Creek Middle School, was designated for the future high school.

Community advocates have rallied ever since to see it built. "For me, it's break out the champagne because I've been battling for this for 15 years. That's how I originally got involved in the community association, was battling for this high school," said David Hartwick, government relations and advocacy director for the Northern Hills Community Association. David Hartwick, a member of the Northern Hills Community Association, has been advocating to see this high school built since 2004. (Terri Trembath/CBC) "I will be out there the day they put the shovel in the ground just to see it, because I've waited so long for this and I won't believe it until I see that shovel in the ground." Panda said he recently took steps to expedite the school build. "We took it out of the P3 process to accelerate the school and get it open on time," he said. "Typically it takes a little longer, but that's why I excluded this one to push it hard, to get it done sooner."

North Calgary High School's catchment area in the CBE plans covers the more than 71,000 people living in Hidden Valley, Coventry Hills, Panorama Hills, Harvest Hills, Country Hills and Country Hills Village, Hartwick said. Community members estimate the school will have 1,800 teens enrolled once it opens. The high school will serve families in living in Hidden Valley, Coventry Hills, Panorama Hills, Harvest Hills, Country Hills and Country Hills Village. (Alberta Infrastructure) "It'll be at capacity Day 1 with people from the surrounding communities wanting in," said Hartwick. "They're only looking at the catchment area of Northern Hills and Hidden Valley. But the reality is now you've got Livingston and Carrington to the north. You've got Evanston, who's desperate for the high school space as well. This high school could have easily been built at 2,400 students." In an emailed statement to CBC News, the CBE says the North Calgary High School will open with Grades 10 and 11, which allows Grade 12 students to graduate from the high school they started at. "Enrolment upon opening will figure at approximately 1,000 students. Enrolment the following year is anticipated to rise to 1,500 students as the school expands to offer Grades 10-12," read the statement by the CBE.

The closest high schools are Crescent Heights or John G. Diefenbaker — about 60 blocks away, and approximately an hour each way by bus for most students from the community. When the new high school finally opens, it'll be life changing for teens and families in the area, Hartwick said. "Now these kids are going to have the same opportunity that the separate school kids have, where they get to go to high school within their community, play sports within their community, actually participate in extracurricular activities," he said.


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