Holy Rosary High School (HRHS) is looking to expand to accommodate their growing number of students as they continue talks with the Deputy Premier and Minister of Education Gordon Wyant.
On Monday, Wyant visited both school divisions in Lloydminster in order to get a sense of the growing education needs in the City, including a visit to HRHS to talk about future expansions. The Principal of HRHS Vince Orieux says they are looking for more classroom space and common areas for students, as well as counselling offices for staff.
“Our school was built for 750 and we’re pushing 900, with just over 900 enrolments and it’s gonna grow next year. Looking down the road three or four years we’re anticipating 1,100 to 1,200 students. There’s challenges with space and it’s only going to get worse.”
Orieux contributes the growth to the school’s successes, which includes reading levels with 90 per cent of students reading at their grade level, the number of graduates the school has each year with 182 students crossing the stage this year, as well as their French Immersion program.
Director of Education Nigel McCarthy says the greatest challenge is accommodating all their students and all the programs they want to offer them in their present facilities.
“We like all of Lloydminster are a growing school division and we continue to be really attentive to building for the future because those students that are in kindergarten deserve to have the same opportunities as those who are presently graduating from Holy Rosary.”
McCarthy says currently the Catholic School Division has more students in elementary than in high school, therefore more space is a need. The school is already planning construction this summer for their band centre to accommodate more students in the program.
Lloydminster MLA Colleen Young says it’s important for the government to come and see what the situation is like in the City in terms of education needs.
“The resources that are needed for some of our new immigrant families and newcomers to our communities has really increased the population in our schools. I think it’s important for the Minister to see that and know what resources are necessary and what we need in order to support our students.”
HRHS was built in 2001 and opened with 550 students, 17 years later the school is approaching double the amount of students. McCarthy says if all goes well, construction on the expansion will take about two years with one year needed for the approval process.