FAQs: Davidson Creek Elementary
(Last updated: April 3, 2018)
Will this be a neighbourhood school?
- The first priority in setting attendance boundaries was to serve the families in the immediate neighbourhood.
- A review of school boundaries to determine the attendance area for Davidson Creek Elementary has taken place and included community consultation in February and April 2017.
- In June 2017, attendance boundaries were approved by the EIPS Board of Trustees and shared with the public.
What will the school site look like?
- The contracted architectural firm, Stantec Consulting Ltd., formerly known as Architecture Tkalcic Bengert (ATB), gathered feedback from the community on various options for the school site design and layout plans during information sessions held in June and September 2016.
- The school site design is shown on the display boards from the September 2016 information sessions.
- Minor design updates were completed in mid-2017 to align with the budget.
Will there be a playground at the new school?
- Yes. EIPS has confirmed Davidson Creek Elementary is eligible for the recently announced playground funding from the Government of Alberta, and those funds will be used to build a new playground.
We are concerned about losing green space. How will this be addressed?
- Playgrounds and playing fields are a component of the site design for an elementary school and every effort has been made throughout the site design process to preserve as much green space as possible. During the design information sessions (June 2016), the architectural firm gathered feedback from families and the community on various site layout options and how green space could be incorporated in the site design.
- Schools are important neighbourhood hubs and provide space for communities to come together, during both school and non-school hours.
- The school site design includes a two-storey school building—as such, the footprint of the building is smaller and enables us to preserve a larger portion of green space.
How does EIPS plan to manage the risk of children being exposed to the nearby swale?
- There is an overland drainage swale running through a portion of the neighbourhood that is part of a storm water management system.
- The swale is on the Strathcona County side of the property line between the school site and neighbouring land. EIPS worked closely with Strathcona County and the project design team to mitigate potential risks for students on our school property.
- Part of the site design process included planning for proper water management, runoff and drainage.
- A fence will be included in the landscaping to reduce access to the swale.
Was a traffic assessment done? How will traffic be addressed?
- A traffic impact assessment was completed (1988) when the initial Strathcona County area structure plan was approved and this site was designated as a potential school site. The roads were designed to account for the traffic volume associated with a school.
- BUNT Engineering completed an updated traffic impact assessment as part of the school site planning. The assessment included a review of possible flows of traffic—including school buses—and people to and from the school site.
- Information from the traffic impact assessment is shown on the display boards from the September 2016 information sessions.
- A traffic calming plan has been approved and will be implemented by Strathcona County.
We are concerned about pedestrian safety at nearby intersections. How will this be addressed?
- We anticipate the amount of pedestrian traffic crossing at the intersection of Davidson Drive and Clover Bar Road will decrease as many of the students walking or biking to Lakeland Ridge from the east side of Clover Bar Road will no longer need to cross this major roadway once the school opens.
- The traffic assessment completed by BUNT Engineering, as part of the design phase, has helped identify areas that may need to be addressed and strategies that could be used. The Division will continue to work diligently with our partners at Strathcona County to ensure students are safe.
- Ongoing traffic monitoring by Strathcona County throughout Sherwood Park helps guide the County’s decisions about where and when to adjust traffic controls, such as crosswalks, flashing pedestrian lights and traffic lights. This traffic monitoring by the County would determine if additional traffic controls are needed in the Davidson Creek area.
TIMELINES and NEXT STEPS
What are the next steps?
- Construction on Davidson Creek Elementary commenced in spring 2017. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 7, 2017.
- A grand opening ceremony will be planned for fall 2018 when the new school opens.
What is the name of the new school?
- In August 2017, the EIPS Board of Trustees approved the name for the new school: Davidson Creek Elementary.
- Community consultation regarding the school naming took place in spring 2017.
When will the new school open?
- Davidson Creek Elementary is scheduled to open in September 2018.
Where can I find more information?
- Find out more: Regular updates, and past information, about Davidson Creek Elementary.
- Those who are interested can also sign up to receive updates and meeting notifications via email.
How can I be involved?
School and Site Design
- Design information sessions took place in June and September 2016
- Phase 1 – online survey – November 2016
- Phase 2 – internal data review – winter 2016
- Phase 3 – public engagement of the elementary attendance boundaries in the northeast quadrant of Sherwood Park, and the junior high boundaries in the same area to determine where students of the new school will attend once they move to Grade 7 – early 2017
- Phase 4 – presented the recommended options to the public for consideration – April 2017
- Phase 5 – presentation to and approval by the EIPS Board of Trustees – June 2017
Why is this a K-6 school?
- Our current enrolment pressure is at the elementary level. Based on Sept. 30, 2017 enrolment numbers, there is capacity for another 455 junior high students between Clover Bar Junior High and Sherwood Heights Junior High. In addition, it’s anticipated with the opening of Davidson Creek Elementary, more space will become available in Lakeland Ridge.
There are 1,861 K-6 EIPS students1 residing in the northeast quadrant of Sherwood Park (Baseline Road to Highway 16, and Sherwood Drive to Highway 21). Specifically, 374 K-6 EIPS students live in the Davidson Creek, Clarkdale Meadows and North Clarkdale Meadows areas.
(1 Based on Sept. 30, 2017 enrolment numbers—including all EIPS students in regular programs, French immersion, German Bilingual, alternative Christian, system special education programs and outreach.)
Will this be a two-storey school?
- The design of the school is a two-storey building.
- Through the design process conducted by the architect firm and approved by the Division, feedback was collected from families, staff and community members on various options for the school site design and layout plans. A two-storey building enables us to preserve a larger portion of green space on the school site.
- Information sessions took place in June and September 2016.
Two enrolment numbers for the northeast quadrant of Sherwood Park (Baseline Road to Highway 16, and Sherwood Drive to Highway 21) have been shared – 1,280 and 1,780. Why the discrepancy?
- The number included in the Aug. 27, 2015 amended Three-Year Capital Plan (1,280 K-6 EIPS students) was based on 2014-15 enrolment numbers and included only K-6 students in regular programs.
- The number in the January 2016 communication (1,780 K-6 EIPS students) was based on 2015-16 enrolment numbers (as of Sept. 30, 2015) and included all EIPS K-6 students in regular programs, alternative programs and System Special Education programs (of these 1,780 students, 1,282 were K-6 in regular programs).
What decision-making process or criteria did EIPS use to determine the school site? Are there specifications used to select a school site?
- The site was determined through thorough, thoughtful discussions and consideration of all available sites. The Division was committed to choosing a school site that most effectively fulfilled the needs of the Division students and Sherwood Park.
- All potential school sites (those zoned as municipal reserve by Strathcona County) were toured by EIPS trustees, EIPS senior administration and a representative from Strathcona County.
- The Division’s immediate needs were considered:
- Where do we have existing schools?
- Where are our enrolment pressures, at what grades, and in what neighbourhoods?
- Where do we forecast enrolment growth and decline?
- We also considered student safety, arterial and collector road access, and proximity to major transportation corridors.
- There is no single formula or weighting of criteria for school site selection. Davidson Creek was chosen based on both qualitative and quantitative data as outlined above.
What about geotechnical and environmental studies?
- The contracted firm, Opus Stewart Weir, completed the geotechnical study and environmental site assessment. These studies determined that no special considerations are required related to the land beneath the school and the sub-structure that will support the building.
- The contracted firm, Al-Terra Engineering Ltd, completed the site survey.
Why can’t the school go in McGhan Park (Clarkdale Meadows)?
- There is a gas pipeline running through the site. This high pressure gas line reduces the developable area.
- McGhan Park was not one of the five designated school sites listed on the map provided by Strathcona County and used for the site selection tour; however, it was included as an impromptu stop.
- The portion of land in McGhan Park that is zoned for a school is slightly smaller than the Davidson Creek parcel.
Why can’t the school go in Heritage Hills?
- This parcel of land is too far south to address the enrolment pressure we are facing in the northeast part of Sherwood Park.
- Our goal is to build a neighbourhood school to serve families living in the northeast quadrant of Sherwood Park.
Why can’t the school go in Summerwood?
- Summerwood was one of the sites considered; however, EIPS had concerns about how close the CN railway tracks run to the site, access to and from the site from major roadways, and the nearby storm water pond.
- EIPS invited representatives from CN Rail to give a presentation about rail safety and their risk management process. Although CN provided information about rail safety and the mitigation strategies they have in place, they could not provide guarantees nor disclose what product is transported on the line on a daily basis.
- Building a school close to a rail line, without EIPS being able to control or mitigate safety concerns, was not a risk EIPS was willing to take.
- The Summerwood site is adjacent to a 10.46-acre storm water pond.
- The Summerwood neighbourhood does not provide any direct access to arterial roadways for residential use. The current design includes traffic calming and narrow streets leading to the site.