FAQs: New Sherwood Park School (Davidson Creek School Site)
(Last updated: October 12, 2017)
Will this be a neighbourhood school?
The first priority in setting attendance boundaries will be to serve the families in the immediate neighbourhood.
Attendance boundaries will be determined by the EIPS Board of Trustees and communicated to the public.
A review of school boundaries to determine the attendance area for the new school has taken place and included community consultation on Feb. 8 & 16 and Apr. 19 & 25.
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 2016 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 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 will be made throughout the site design process to preserve as much green space as possible. During the design information sessions (June 2016), the architect firm gathered feedback from families and the community on various site layout options and how green space could be incorporated into 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 enabling us to preserve a larger portion of green space.
How does EIPS plan to manage the risk of children being exposed to the nearby creek?
- The Davidson Creek is an overland drainage swale that is part of a storm water management system.
- The creek is on the Strathcona County side of the property line between the school site and neighbouring land. The County’s processes will determine any steps they will take related to the creek.
- EIPS is working 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 will include planning for proper water management, runoff, and drainage.
- A fence will be added as part of the design.
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 take into account the traffic volume associated with a school.
- BUNT Engineering has 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. The complete report will be shared as soon as it is finalized and approved.
- 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 a neighbourhood school exists in Davidson Creek.
- The traffic assessment completed by BUNT Engineering, as part of the design phase, will help identify areas that need to be addressed and strategies that could be used. The Division is also working diligently with our partners at Strathcona County to ensure our 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. If additional traffic controls are needed in the Davidson Creek area, it will be determined by Strathcona County.
TIMELINES and NEXT STEPS
What are the next steps?
- Stantec has finalized design plans and submitted the necessary paperwork for all required permits.
- Construction on the new K-6 school in the Davidson Creek area of Sherwood Park has commenced in spring 2017. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 7, 2017. Chandros construction has started work in the area.
- Consultation and the final recommendation on the attendance boundaries for the area have been provided to the EIPS Board of Trustees for approval in spring 2017.
What is the name of the new school?
- The naming of the new K-6 school in Sherwood Park follows the processes outlined in Board Policy and Administrative Procedures.
- The public was surveyed for potential school names in April/May 2017 and the shortlisted names have been provided to the public for feedback in spring 2017. The final name selections will take place in fall 2017.
When will the new school open?
- The new K-6 school in the Davidson Creek area of Sherwood Park is scheduled to open in September 2018.
Where can I find more information?
- Regular updates, and past information, about the new K-6 school in Sherwood Park is available by visiting ca/schools/newschoolsandmodernizations/sherwoodpark.
How can I be involved?
- The first phase of the process in updating attendance boundaries in northeast Sherwood Park was an online survey that ran in November 2016.
- The second phase (internal data review) was complete in winter 2016.
- The third phase was 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 and was completed in early 2017.
- The fourth phase presented the recommended options for consideration and was complete in April 2017.
- The fifth phase is presentation and approval to the EIPS Board of Trustees to be complete in mid-2017.
Why is this a K-6 school?
- Our current enrolment pressure is at the elementary level. Based on the September 30, 2016-17 enrolment numbers, there is capacity for another 499 junior high students between Clover Bar Junior High and Sherwood Heights Junior High. In addition, it’s anticipated with the opening of the new school in Davidson Creek, more space will become available in Lakeland Ridge School.
- There are 1,831 K-6 EIPS students1residing in the northeast quadrant of Sherwood Park (Baseline Road to Highway 16, and Sherwood Drive to Highway 21). Specifically, 392 K-6 EIPS students live in the Davidson Creek, Clarkdale Meadows, and North Clarkdale Meadows areas.
(1 Based on November 6, 2016 enrolment numbers, including all EIPS students in regular programs, French Immersion, German Bilingual 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 enable us to preserve a larger portion of green space on the school site.
- Information sessions took place in June 2016 and September 2016.
Is EIPS proceeding with building a K-6 school on Davidson Creek site?
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) is 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) is based on 2015-16 enrolment numbers (as of September 30, 2015) and includes all EIPS students in regular programs, alternative programs, and System Special Education programs (of these 1,780 students, 1,282 are K-6 in regular programs).
What decision-making process or criteria did EIPS use to determine the school site? Was there a rubric 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, has completed the geotechnical study and environmental assessment. These studies determined that no special considerations will need to be made related to the land beneath the school and the sub-structure that will support the building.
- The contracted firm, Al-Terra Engineering Ltd, has 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.