Blackfalds school to be named St. Gregory the Great

The RDCRS Kindergarten to Grade 9 school planned for Blackfalds has now been named after a community naming campaign.

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) Kindergarten to Grade 9 school planned for Blackfalds has now been named after a community naming campaign.

Out of a list of submitted names, RDCRS board trustees selected the name St. Gregory the Great Catholic School for the proposed education facility during a recent board meeting.

RDCRS sought direct input from the community in naming the school, with individuals encouraged to submit suggestions online on Twitter and by filling out a Google form.

There were some guidelines to the naming process though, as submissions including the name of role models, canonized saints and historical-faith focused people were encouraged.

A short list of potential names was then gathered and submitted to Archbishop Smith and then the RDCRS trustees approved the final name.

The proposed Blackfalds school was one of the 230 school projects announced by the province over the past few years.

While the provincial government has vowed to honour the promise to follow through with funding the school projects, RDCRS is still waiting for approval of the construction funds to move ahead with the project.

“We don’t have approval of the funds for the school yet and unfortunately we don’t know when that will arrive,” said Ken Jaeger, RDCRS supervisor of support services.

Even without the funding in place, RDCRS has moved forward with the school project and has already started with a design, a contract order and continues to work with the Town of Blackfalds to ensure all permits are in place.

RDCRS has also adjusted the elementary school boundaries for the St. Francis of Assisi addition, the St. Joseph High School and the new Blackfalds school to accommodate students in the future.

As the first RDCRS facility in Blackfalds, administration wanted to ensure the boundaries accommodate the current busing into Red Deer and the broader catchment area.

RDCRS also held a community meeting this past March to consult with the public regarding the upcoming school building project and boundaries. The new boundary stretches from east of Penhold, east of Hwy. 2, past Red Deer to just north of Blackfalds.

Those students located in the newly adjusted catchment area may still be bused into Red Deer to attend French immersion programs, outreach and online learning and year-round schooling including attending Camille J. Lerouge School, Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School, St. Gabriel Learning Centre and St. Patrick’s Community School.

Jaeger stated the boundary was appropriately aligned with the Wolf Creek Public Schools boundaries in anticipation of joint busing possibilities in the future.

He said the newly set boundaries would come into effect in 2017.

RDCRS anticipates opening the St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in September 2017.

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