Next Steps for Westgate

While it is important to enjoy the blessings and good fortune that comes your way, it is also important not to take anything fully for granted.  The Westgate Redevelopment Committee certainly was not taking civic approval for their redevelopment proposal for granted.  In a process that had its genesis in discussions with members of the neighbourhood that reached back to 2006, the WRC was unable to predict what the appeal panel’s decision would be.  No doubt, the school’s extended community is pleased that permission to proceed with construction has been granted.  It is now very important to inform our supporting community of the school’s next steps.

The search for an alternate site for the school and the subsequent decision to redevelop at 86 West Gate needed to be placed in public record.  Please refer to the article in this edition of the Retrospective that offers our school community background information that shaped the decision to remain in Armstrong Point.

With approval secured, Prairie Architects Inc. can commence with more comprehensive drawings that will be used to solicit competitive construction bids.  These drawings will be incorporated in Capital Campaign literature that will assist Development Director John Loewen and the Capital Campaign committee to raise approximately $7 million to fund the redevelopment.  School administration has already begun to search suitable sites that could be considered to educate our junior and senior high students.

The scope of these tasks and preparations are large, and it is important to do each of them well.  Ultimately, the money needs to be committed or be place, and the school needs to secure a quality site for our students and teachers before construction can begin.  The Redevelopment Committee is looking at two potential redevelopment dates; relocating late March 2014 with return to the new facility at the beginning of second semester February 2015, or relocating July 2014 and returning September 2015.  With the first option, no graduating class will be out of their school for their entire last year.  With the second option, construction can take place over 14 months rather than over 10 months.   It is anticipated that our Westgate families will accept that this short term disruption is unavoidable to achieve a superior educational facility that will house our students for decades to come.

Our Westgate school community is invited to join in the excitement of this project.  It has been nearly 25 years since our last capital campaign and the school needs to rely on this community’s generosity to develop a facility that will effectively educate its students well into the 21stcentury.