CARSTAIRS - Trustee Melissa Copley, vice-chair of Chinook’s Edge School Division (CESD) board of trustees, has given town councillors an update on plans and projects in the community, including regarding the Carstairs Elementary School (CES) renovation project.
The review came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and by Zoom. Deputy mayor Rick Blair chaired the meeting.
The $5.6-million CES expansion now underway will see 10 additional classroom spaces built to accommodate 250 students. It also involves additions to the gym, and expanding the parking lot and bus loop.
With the expansion, the school will move from offering kindergarten to Grade 2 to kindergarten to Grade 4.
The renovation project is nearing completion, with officials scheduled to take possession of the new classrooms next month.
“We are on track to take possession of the classrooms on July 12, which is the date we are working with at this point,” said Copley. “We are happy with the way that is coming along.”
Work on the traffic turnaround is ongoing and should be completed before the start of the new school year, she said.
“The bus loop is slightly behind schedule because of some of the water we’ve had, but still very much in good shape to be done before the September start of school,” she said.
A grand opening ceremony for the upgraded school is in the works, she said.
“We have started planning what that will look like. We are hoping to do a completely regular grand opening and we will be in touch for contacts for that as well,” she said.
Deputy mayor Blair said council is pleased that the renovation project is progressing well.
“That’s good news about CES, that things are coming along great,” said Blair.
Meanwhile, Coun. Shannon Wilcox asked about what supports are planned for CESD students post-pandemic.
Copley replied, “I know our associate superintendent of learning is focusing on that. There are different ways that you would review based on the developmental stages. For the higher grades there's summer school programming for some kids; that’s a good fit. For other kids over the summer there is some teacher-assigned learning.
“At this point they are really trying to figure out what each child needs and making sure that we accommodate what is realistic for that child. I know that all staff, from the teachers in the classrooms to our learning services team, is really focusing on making sure that we have those plans at a child-specific level.”
Copley last updated council on the school renovation project in March. Council accepted Copley’s June 14 presentation as information.