Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 21, 2003
Edmonton Catholic shortchanged in budget
Province provides no funding for Castledowns high school
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Edmonton Catholic School district is disappointed the Alberta government did not allocate any new funding for the district's new projects in the April 8 provincial budget.
This will stall building a badly needed high school in Castledowns, school board chair Charlie Koester told the WCR.
The budget contained provision for $511 million to preserve, expand and construct school facilities and equipment in Alberta over the next three years.
Edmonton Catholic received only the $4.2-million final installment for completion of Archbishop Romero High School.
The Catholic school board had submitted a request for $30 million. Included in that budget is $12 million for the planned high school in Castledowns and about $17 million for major modernization projects for four schools including, Archbishop MacDonald, Archbishop O'Leary, St. Edmund and Sir John Thompson.
"The community of Castledowns is in serious need of a high school, Koester said.
"Every year the Edmonton Catholic School district buses hundreds of students in the Castledowns area to other Catholic high schools in the city. It is important to note that it takes three years for a school to become a reality from a funding announcement until the school opens."
With this scenario, the wait for the high school in Castledowns to be constructed and opened is now a minimum of four years.
"The positive thing to look at here . . . the government is going to stabilize their funding and make it more predictable. Then we're going to be able to plan better for the future."
"It's going to be better for long term. Short term it's not good because we're not getting new dollars."
"We understand the government has limited funding. We hope to meet with the minister of infrastructure in the next few weeks to understand the government's direction and what (the district) needs to do to ensure future funding for these projects," said Koester.