Blackfalds classroom space issue needs solution

Wolf Creek Public Schools board of trustees has decided to apply for two more modular classrooms for Blackfalds

Wolf Creek Public Schools board of trustees has decided to apply for two more modular classrooms for Blackfalds, despite the fact they’ve been told the chances of the application being accepted aren’t high.

Because of the bathroom capacity of Blackfalds junior campus, that school isn’t able to handle the population increase a modular would produce. Secretary-treasurer Joe Henderson says the only place for the modulars would be the elementary campus.

“I’m not sure the province would look favorably on an application, as they’ve done in the past,” said Henderson.

With the new school scheduled for construction in Blackfalds, Henderson says the population structures of the junior and elementary campus’ are subject to change and there may not the same pressures warranting the modulars. “If the numbers would support it, (but) I don’t think they will.”

“Our biggest crowding issue would be at the junior campus and we don’t have any more room to add space there . . . We’ve expanded the junior campus as far as we can,” he added.

“Is there any harm in asking for more modular and being turned down?” Trustee Barb Walker asked Henderson.

Henderson says, to gain relief at the junior campus, students would have to be moved elsewhere. Two options mentioned were having Grade 5 remain at the elementary campus and moving Grade 9 to Lacombe. “You’re going to have to look at your grade configurations.”

“The difficulty really comes beyond Sept. 1, 2016. You’re going to have excess space,” he added.

However, the board felt, with Blackfalds growth rate, it couldn’t be guaranteed the modular wouldn’t be needed.

Both trustees Bob Huff and Donna Peterson suggested, if the application was accepted but the modulars weren’t needed by the time they were constructed for the school, the board could decline them, in which case they believe the modulars would be sent to another division.