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How Might Surplus space be used now and the future?

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  • #16
    I've reviewed the school profiles for the Hardisty and City Centre areas. The information confirms that a lot of space is being used in positive ways -- by preschools, child care providers, literacy organizations and mentoring agencies -- that do not show up in the overall enrolment count. For example, at Gold Bar School, there are 131 students (weighted enrolment, 135) registered in district programming, in a building with a theoretical capacity of 340. However, most of the surplus classrooms are used for early education, daycare and ABC Head Start, so the facility is not less than half-full, as the numbers suggest.

    The City Centre area is quite interesting. Weighted enrolment at John A. McDougall is 254, which is really strong, and the number of students has increased 18.5 per cent since 2005. The building also hosts child care and ESL partnerships and is in good shape -- but it is too big for the needs of the community, with (theoretically) 440 spaces. I hope the district will pursue solutions other than closure for well-attended but oversized schools. Delton (295 weighted enrolment, 480 capacity) also fits into this category.

    Perhaps Parkdale School (which offers K-9) has the most interesting profile. There are 303 EPSB junior high students who live in the Parkdale catchment zone, but only 70 of them are attending their local school. In other words, instead of a demographic problem, Parkdale is struggling with enrolment because, in the judgement of area families, it is not serving their needs.

    Sector reviews are partly a result of awful municipal planning, but district policies, biases and neglect have, in some instances, contributed to the problem.


    • #17
      Interesting insights Green Grovenor...

      For others that would like to review the school profiles and not get blisters on their fingers downloading them one at a time you may download a zip file containing all of the school profile pdfs by clicking on one of the links below. Each file is about 130MB in size. These links will expire in 72 hours. If someone would like the pdfs after that, just let me know. (The school identification numbers are indexed in the spreadsheet at

      Zip file containing EPSB School Profiles with Sept 30, 2009 data

      Zip file containing EPSB School Profiles with Sept 30, 2008 data

      Kind regards,
      Last edited by dhudjik; 23-11-2009, 01:57 PM. Reason: minor edit; added where one could find an index of school id numbers


      • #18
        Green Grovenor,
        I have finally realized what think you knew all along, that Weighted Student Space is weighted enrolment and not a capacity number. ( says “Total Number of Weighted Student Spaces: total number of students in the school calculating severe special education students on a three to one basis.”)

        I have updated my spreadsheet ( The spreadsheet now calculates additional EPSB space by taking the Total ACOL School Capacity minus the Total Weighted Student Spaces using the Sept 30, 2009 profiles.

        Using this calculation the total additional space is 24,864. I do not think we understand what the 'surplus' space is until early education, daycare and ABC Head Start, etc. are factored out.

        However, I noticed that the overall Weighted Student Space has decreased by 1507 from 2008 to 2009, although total enrolment has only gone down by 57 students. Do you have any insight into this?


        • #19
          Trustee Dave Colburn offered the following notice of motion at last night's public school board meeting:

          "Move that a working committee be created by the Board, consisting of trustees, city councillors and MLAs, that will examine all possibilities related to school closures, school viability issues and any related matters as determined by the committee."

          If you endorse the idea that we need a comprehensive plan to address the decline in the number of children living in established communities, I hope you will take a moment to ask your trustee to support this motion.