The future junior-senior high school in Langdon was one of four projects granted a public-private-partnership contract – commonly known as a P3 – by the Alberta government this fall.
In a press release on Sept. 29, the Alberta government announced five new high schools in the province will be moving ahead through a P3 contract bundle. The bundle includes two future high schools in Edmonton, one in Leduc, one in Blackfalds, and a Grade 7-12 school in Langdon.
“We very much need a school in the Langdon community,” said Greg Luterbach, the superintendent of Rocky View Schools (RVS). “We’ve needed that school for a number of years to deal with growth in southeast Rocky View.”
While ground has not yet broken on the facility, Luterbach said the new school in Langdon is slated to open in the fall of 2024.
A new school for students in the upper grades has been in the works in Langdon for many years. The Langdon Community Association and residents of the hamlet have advocated the need for a local high school to the provincial government for the last decade, with the claim that Langdon is one of the most populated communities in Alberta without its own high school.
Langdon currently has two public schools – Sarah Thompson Elementary School for students in kindergarten to Grade 5, and Langdon School, which serves students from kindergarten to Grade 9. Bringing a high school to the hamlet was the top priority in RVS’ 2018-21 capital plan.
“When you look at Langdon as a community, I think there are more than 5,000 people who now live in that hamlet,” Luterbach said. “They very much deserve a high school and need a high school.”
Currently, public high-school-aged students in Langdon attend Chestermere High School from Grade 10 to 12. Chestermere High School is one of RVS’ most populated schools, and was operating at 95 per cent capacity in 2019-20.
Luterbach added a new high school in Langdon will not only benefit families in the hamlet, but also free up more space at Chestermere High School.
“Right now, we have students bussing to high school from Langdon to Chestermere,” Luterbach said. “[The new school] is a win for Langdon, but also a win for RVS and the city of Chestermere.”
According to the Alberta government’s press release, the P3 contract bundle that includes the future Langdon school was awarded to Concert-Bird Partners, who will design, build and finance the five new facilities.
The contract is worth $300.3 million. As part of the contract, Concert-Bird Partners will also maintain the new school facilities for 30 years.
In their press release, the Alberta government claimed the P3 bundle will save Alberta taxpayers $114.5 million, support 1,678 jobs and provide about 7,000 student spaces.
“Government of Alberta is the entity that funds these schools and they decided to [include] the Langdon School in with four other high schools around the province and do those as P3s,” Luterbach said.
“That’s government’s call to make, but we certainly appreciate that progress is going to start soon on the actual construction of the new Langdon school.”
According to the government’s press release, school planning and design work will begin “immediately” on the five new schools. Construction is expected to begin on the new high school in southeast Edmonton this fall, while construction on the other four schools is set to begin in the summer of 2022.