Nanton New & Modernized Schools
Livingstone Range School Division has long advocated the provincial government for improved school building facilities in Nanton. In July 2022 the Division submitted an updated proposal to Alberta Education for consideration in the next round of provincial new schools/modernization funding announcements. On March 1, 2023 Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced approved design funding for the Nanton Schools.
“This crucial investment will provide 21st-century learning facilities to help our students grow and prepare for the future," says Board Chair Lacey Poytress. "We look forward to collaborating with key stakeholders as we move forward on this project.”
Nanton Schools Advisory Committee
Comprised of Livingstone Range School Division (LRSD) Trustees and elected officials from the Town of Nanton, M.D. of Ranchland, and M.D. of Willow Creek the purpose of the Committee is to advise the LRSD Board of Trustees relative to the new construction and/or modernization, programming, and community partnerships at Nanton schools. News and updates from the Committee will be posted here.
The Livingstone Range School Division Board of Trustees values stakeholder engagement. Check back here for upcoming engagement opportunities related to the Nanton schools.
Past engagement opportunities:
Below are responses to frequently asked questions, organized by topic. More questions and answers will be added as needed. Updated November 2023.
FAQs - Financing
What is the process for getting approval from the Province of Alberta for the funding to modernize or build a new school?
School jurisdictions are required to submit their capital project requests to Education by the April 1 submission deadline each year. Education’s Capital Planning staff review and evaluate project submissions using the ministry’s criteria for program delivery: Enrollment Pressures, Health and Safety, Building Condition, Efficiency Solutions, Functionality and Programming, Community Renewal, and Legal. Recent approvals have prioritized enrollment pressures due to significant growth. Health and safety concerns have also received priority for recent approvals.
Is there financing available for decanting (temporary relocation during construction)?
There is no decanting funding provided in the project budget by the Province. While the Board of Trustees can access some non-instructional funds for decanting, these resources are limited. Working with the community to find workable space while minimizing costs will be important.
Are there other grants or funding options to upsize the building and/or expand the gymnasium?
Typically, additions to the approved school size are realized through community partnerships or additional fundraising by community members. The school division cannot apply for additional grants/funding to upsize the new building; however, there may be additional grant funds available for societies within the Town of Nanton.
If the community is interested in expanding the gymnasium or any other space in the new school they should contact their local school administrator or Associate Superintendent, Mr. Jeff Perry at the LRSD office. Due to changes in construction and infrastructure costs in recent years, consultation with architects/cost consultants will be necessary to determine the estimated amount.
How can community groups be involved in fundraising?
Community groups wishing to partner with the school or raise funds to support additional space should contact their local school administrator or Associate Superintendent, Mr. Jeff Perry at the LRSD office.
How soon should community groups be informed in order to start fundraising and planning for the new school?
Some community groups have successfully raised a significant amount of funds in a relatively short period of time however, other groups have taken longer. While we currently do not have any idea of when Alberta Education will grant approval, any interested groups can contact their local school administrator or Associate Superintendent Mr. Jeff Perry at the LRSD office to discuss further.
How can we ensure the new building and funding will support the Early Learning Program?
With the exception of 3 & 4 year-olds requiring additional support, Early Learning programs are not included in the funding for new or modernized schools. In Fort Macleod, the community partnered with the school division to add an Early Learning space on the side of the modernized elementary school.
FAQs - New & Modernized Buildings
Where will the new elementary school be located?
It is our intent to build the new elementary school west of J.T. Foster High School. This spot is located on higher ground and will address some of the drainage issues we have experienced with J.T. Foster High School in its present location.
What is the size and layout of the proposed new elementary school?
Based on current and projected enrollment numbers the new elementary school will be built for a capacity of 255 FTE (full-time equivalent) students. The layout will be determined through consultation with school administration, division office staff, Alberta Education, architects, and the selected construction company.
The number of teaching spaces in a new school is determined by the number of students the school has been approved for combined with discussions with school administrators about programming needs.
What is the Government of Alberta’s formula for “right-sizing” a new school?
“Right-sizing” is matching the physical size of a school or building a school to the “right size” for current enrollment as well as future growth projections. The amount of space determined for a new building differs from that for a modernized building. A school with a utilization rate of greater than or equal to 85 percent is considered fully utilized.
New construction of schools in Alberta are completed in a way that is designed for future growth. The process for adding to the existing school is outlined by Alberta Education and must meet certain criteria for approval.
Will the new elementary school have the same playground equipment and how will it be moved to the new site?
New construction does provide some funding for playground equipment. There is also the possibility of relocating the current A.B. Daley playground to the new site. An analysis by qualified individuals will determine if the current play structures can be safely relocated however this has been completed within the division in the past.
How will a new elementary school benefit young students, when the current A.B. Daley Community School building has many desirable features that might not be included in the new school?
If A.B. Daley was left untouched, it would continue to meet student needs in the immediate future; however, the Nanton Solution is an approach that considers the long-term vision for education in the community of Nanton for decades to come. Current funding formulas do not provide the same physical space as older buildings, but community approaches such as the Nanton Solution are often favored when seeking approval from Alberta Education.
Communities across the province have come together through partnerships and fundraising efforts to ensure schools within their communities reflect the values of the community. In some areas, this results in larger gymnasiums while in other communities there are additional funds raised for the fine arts and theatrical productions.
What features will the new schools have?
The most noticeable change experienced during new or modernized facilities is the enhancement to all areas of the school including upgraded mechanical systems, flexible classrooms and meeting spaces, appealing school designs for desired programs as well as the ability to better accommodate community groups.
Will the new school have a sledding hill, which is popular with elementary students?
This decision has not been discussed as there is still work to be done in order to determine how the grounds will be impacted. Future discussions will occur between school and division administration and maintenance on this question.
Who is responsible for moving furniture and supplies to the new buildings?
Typically the responsibility for packing, unpacking and moving is a combined effort. Maintenance supplies boxes for classroom belongings. Staff pack up and label the boxes to ensure they get to the correct location after the move. Maintenance will move the furniture and boxes from one school to another as needed. School staff unpack boxes at the new or modernized site.
FAQs - Process, Decision-Making, & Communication
How was the Nanton Solution chosen?
The Nanton Solution became the number one priority of the Livingstone Range School Division in March of 2014. In the following school years the division began the process of seeking feedback from the community in the form of round table meetings and other engagement sessions. It was discussed at that time that in order to receive funding to modernize our schools there would be the need to right size the schools to be more in line with the actual enrollment.
By building a new elementary school and modernizing A.B. Daley Community School into the high school we will maintain more overall space. A greater footprint allows for the ability to have additional options in the design. It also provides the high school with a larger gymnasium for high school programming and extracurricular events which they need. The current A.B. Daley gym size is what is considered for a school size of 435 high school students, J.T. Foster High School currently has 200 students. The gym size approved with a new elementary school is the same size that Alberta Education would approve for a school of 590 students. Currently A.B. Daley has 189 FTE Students.
How will stakeholders be involved in the design process of the new schools?
Through engagement sessions, stakeholders have an opportunity to provide information as to what type of programming is desirable for students. The design of the building is completed by an architectural firm based on the input provided for desired programming, input from school staff, and consultation with the school and division administration. The design must stay within the approved budget unless additional funds are raised by the community to enhance the facility.
What will the construction and renovation look like?
Our priority is to keep the construction phase timeline as short as possible by working on both the new elementary school and renovating the current A.B. Daley building concurrently. Construction for both schools can take up to three years and will be a minimum of two years.
We hope to move students out of the current A.B. Daley Community School space in order to allow both projects to be completed concurrently. J.T. Foster High School has excess space that will be utilized to house additional students and we will look for additional spaces with the community of Nanton to house the remainder.
How will LRSD communicate with stakeholders throughout the process?
LRSD utilizes numerous communication methods: social media, School Messenger system, Board Key Messages, School Board Trustees attendance at School Council meetings, as well as school and division websites.
See Other LRSD Modernized Schools
Several schools in Livingstone Range School Division have gone through a modernization process. You can see short videos and photos of these new spaces to give you an idea of the possibilities for Nanton schools.