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Renault approves $46.3 million for Bellerose Comp

 

The Bellerose Composite will get a little bigger in the coming years thanks to a $46.3 million upgrade just announced by the provincial government.

On January 25, St. Albert Public School Trustees learned that the province is spending $46.3 million to upgrade Bellerose Composite High School.

Superintendent Krimsen Sumners told the board that she learned of the decision on Jan. 24 from a letter from Alberta Education Minister Adriana Lagrange.

The upgrade will add about 275 student seats to Bellerose and improve several other aspects of the building, Sumners said. Officials Albert Public and Alberta Infrastructure will work on the details over the next few weeks.

“We are very grateful to Minister Lagrange and (Infrastructure Minister Nathan Neudorf) for moving this project forward and really so quickly,” Sumners said.

Bellerose is one of four high schools in St. Albert. Built in 1988, it has a capacity of 1,353 students and was approximately 80 percent full in 2022.

The board has sought to modernize Bellerose for many years as part of a three-part plan to manage its growing student enrollment. (The other two parts were to build a new Paul Kane and build an additional high school.) Albert Public received money from the province to develop this upgrade back in 2019.

Modernization was the second highest priority on the board’s three-year capital plan, which Alberta Education uses to make investment decisions. The top priority was the construction of a new 1,650-student high school in north St. Albert as part of an unsolicited P3 proposal with Landrex Inc.

Sumners said Lagrange’s letter indicated that the province had decided not to fund the proposed new high school because there was no designated school site large enough to house it.

Board Chair Kim Armstrong noted that the funding was announced outside of the province’s regular budget cycle and said she chose to interpret the decision as a sign that the province has recognized the need for this upgrade.

Newspaper will update this story later this week.

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