Phase III New Schools P3 Project
In May 2011, the Government of Alberta announced it was investing in 35 new school projects benefitting some of Alberta’s fastest-growing communities. As part of this investment, a bundle of 12 new schools, creating up to 7,700 new spaces for Alberta students, will be built using a public-private partnership (P3) approach. This P3 approach will deliver the schools up to two years earlier than through traditional methods and will save Alberta taxpayers about $43 million. This school infrastructure project aligns with the government’s commitment to building Alberta's economic future, and investing in families and communities.
Following a competitive bidding process and rigorous evaluation, the Alberta government awarded the contract to ABC Schools Partnership. The project includes the design, build, finance and 30-year maintenance of the new schools, which are scheduled to be completed in June 2014 and ready to open for the 2014/2015 school year.
New Schools Constructed to Meet High Provincial Standards
The new schools will be constructed to meet high provincial standards and most will use a standard core design. The permanent core building will include the essential elements of a school, including a gymnasium, library, administration offices, washrooms, classrooms, specialty classrooms and special teaching spaces for subjects such as music, art and Career and Technology Studies. Modular classrooms can be added or removed as required to accommodate changing student enrolments. The schools will be built to achieve (at a minimum) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, resulting in up to 45 per cent greater energy efficiency than conventional buildings. Students, teachers and administrators will learn and work in a healthier environment through improved air quality and greater use of natural light.
Ownership Remains with School Boards
In addition to the design and construction, the P3 project also includes maintenance and renewal of the schools over a 30-year period. Schools will be owned and operated by school boards, and operate like existing schools. The contract allows for joint-use agreements and third-party leasing arrangements. The new and replacement schools will incorporate new design standards, including new additional space for wrap around services like accessible washrooms, recycling rooms and increased space for mechanical rooms.
Previous P3 Projects
Two recently completed P3 projects resulted in 28 new schools opening in Alberta, providing space for almost 20,000 students. In September 2010, 18 schools opened in Edmonton and Calgary providing space for 12,000 students, and in September 2012, 10 new schools opened in Langdon, Okotoks, Calgary and Edmonton providing space for 7,950 students.