A much-needed new high school will open in southwest Edmonton this fall, with enough space for 2,000 students and amenities that include a dance studio and a culinary arts kitchen.
The Dr. Anne Anderson School, along with an adjacent community centre, will open in the Heritage Valley area, which is one of the fastest-growing areas in the city.
The new school will welcome Grade 10 and 11 students this year. Grade 12 classes will begin in the 2022 school year.
“We absolutely require high school space to accommodate the number of students that will be high school age, or are currently high school age,” said Nathan Ip, a board trustee for Edmonton Public Schools.
“It will certainly be an important part of ensuring that we have high-quality learning spaces for our students, particularly at the high school age.”
As of September 2020, about 1,400 high school-aged students were living in the Heritage Valley area, according to estimates provided by Edmonton Public Schools. The division expects that number will increase to 2,400 by 2025.
The $68.5-million school will have 90 classrooms and five designated Career and Technology Studies spaces, including two labs and a culinary arts kitchen, as well as food and health learning spaces.
There are also specific arts classrooms, a dance studio, a running track and an external amphitheatre.
The city contributed $5.5 million toward the multi-use, community centre spaces. In return, residents can access the gym, track and fitness space, which will be registered as a City of Edmonton recreation facility.
“I’ve heard from the community time and time again that they see their schools as really the heart of the community. And they would like their schools to be designed in a way that allows for community building and other activities where the community can gather,” Ip said.
“I really see this as a great example of that. And I’d like to see more opportunities for partnership with the city as well as with the province in the future.”
The school is named for Dr. Anne Anderson, an Alberta author and teacher who was instrumental in preserving the Cree language and promoting Métis heritage in our province.
All neighbourhoods in the Heritage Valley area and Edmonton South West and Edmonton South Central annexation areas are designated to Dr. Anne Anderson School.
Previously, students in those neighbourhoods would have been designated to attend Harry Ainlay School, which was over capacity.
This is the division’s first new high school since 2009 when Lillian Osborne School opened.
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