It's still in the very preliminary stages, but a small step has been taken towards a potential new or renovated school in Carlyle.
The South East Cornerstone Public School Board has identified a pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 school in Carlyle as one of the top three major capital priorities to be submitted to the Ministry of Education for their consideration. The others are the Weyburn Junior High and Souris School, which is also in Weyburn.
South East Cornerstone director of education Lynn Little said it's premature to make predictions on timelines.
“The Ministry requested our top three capital priorities that we would have over the coming years, so we've done some initial work, but very preliminary work,” said Little.
Criteria for a new education complex in Carlyle would include utilization, the current condition of the structure, existing partnerships and more. The ministry will also weigh it against building needs and submissions from other school divisions.
The Carlyle Elementary School had 242 students, as of June 30. The Gordon F. Kells High School boasted 188 pupils. Total enrollment between the two was 430.
HDH Architects completed a feasibility study for a school in Carlyle in April 2013.
A decision will ultimately be made on whether to build a new school, or to renovate and expand the high school to accommodate all the students.
The elementary school was built in 1958, and has been renovated and expanded several times, the most recent happening in 1982. The high school was constructed in 1969, with an expansion in 1983.
Both schools currently face challenges
According to HDH's feasibility study, the building components at the elementary school are nearing their lifespan, with some areas not meeting current design standards. There isn't a fire sprinkler system. The school is also at capacity, with limitations for expansion. The school's fields are also separated by Souris Street.
As for the high school, there are HVAC restrictions in original 1969 section, the school site is low on the east side and experiencing water ponding, and mechanical and electrical system upgrades are required.
Little noted that Oxbow shifted from having a high school and an elementary school in separate buildings, to having one school for the community in 2011. Carnduff did the same in 2004.
“They both have the gamut of programming in their buildings, and they both have been very successful,” said Little.
As for the other projects, Weyburn Junior High is in the queue for major capital projects in the province, but Carlyle and Souris School are not, Little said. The Weyburn Junior High project would involve renovating the school to make it compliant for a Kindergarten to Grade 6 school; junior high students in Weyburn will eventually attend the Weyburn Comprehensive School.