EDMONTON -- A proposed plan by the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board that would redistribute students and repurpose school buildings is not sitting well with some parents.
The 'Faith in our Future' plan was released online on Oct. 1. An online consultation wrapped up on Oct. 30 and parents were invited to share their thoughts at an open house on Wednesday night.
"I'm very concerned that it could have negative effects on my kids," Greg Schiller told CTV News Edmonton.
Schiller's children attend École Marie Poburan, an elementary school that would be transformed into the board offices as part of the proposed plan.
"It's a bad use of resources to take a purpose-built school and turn it into offices," Schiller said. "I realize that the board has to make tough decisions, I just feel that their whole approach has been wrong."
If approved, Marie Poburan students would move to the under-utilized École Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d'Youville. High school students at that school would be sent to St. Albert Catholic High School and the St. Gabriel Distance Learning School would move into the Poburan building with the board offices.
The school board's chair says this plan makes financial sense and helps address future growth, inclusivity and student safety.
"Our current outreach high school is not wheelchair accessible. In fact, it's on the second floor," Joe Becigneul said. "We had a student who wanted to attend there this year and can't get up the stairs."
Becigneul said the board will consider all feedback and suggestions from stakeholders, and the proposal could be amended.
Schiller wants the board to withdraw this proposal and start over with more input.
"I think that there are many other ways that they could actually perhaps save even more money," he said. "There's other solutions."
The next open house is scheduled for Feb. 13, 2020.