CHESTERMERE – Construction crews are set to start work on a dozen new schools for some of Alberta’s fastest growing communities, Chestermere included. This will create up to 7,700 new spaces for Alberta students. The K-9 school to be built in Chestermere’s Kinniburgh district will have its sod turning event on November 16th at 9:00 AM and will open to 900 students in the 2014-15 school year.
In a statement from Premier Alison Redford, she said “Albertans told us that we needed to invest in families, and what better way to do that than by building new schools”. She added “These schools will benefit our families and strengthen our communities for generations to come.”
There are 12 new schools in eight communities through a public-private partnership (P3). ABC Schools Partnership has been identified as the successful P3 partner and will be responsible for the design, build, finance and maintenance of these new schools. “Using a P3 approach means we can complete these schools up to two years earlier than through traditional methods and save millions of dollars,” said Infrastructure Minister Wayne Drysdale. It’s like buying in bulk I suppose where the builder can work with familiar contractors and purchase and order materials in large quantities. The bundle of the twelve P3 schools is part of a $550-million investment, announced by the Alberta government in May 2011 to support 35 new schools and modernization projects (22 new schools and 13 modernizations).
ABC Schools Partnership had the lowest bid price at $288.78 million, saving Alberta taxpayers about $43 million compared to the cost of doing the same work through traditional delivery methods.
The P3 contract with ABC Schools Partnership ensures construction of these 12 schools is completed up to two years sooner than possible through traditional methods. Through a P3, government receives a 30-year warranty on the work. Under traditional school delivery methods, warranties are usually only one to two years. Schools will be owned and operated by school boards, and operate like existing schools.