Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) is asking the City of Saskatoon to consider a core-neighbourhood park as a possible location for a new City Centre School.
In a letter to the City’s Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services, director of education Shane Skjerven proposes the City investigate the potential of Optimist Park in Saskatoon’s Riversdale neighbourhood, as a location for a new City Centre School.
In the last provincial budget, the government announced $86 million in education spending in 2020-2021. Among the priorities announced back in March 2020, was a project to consolidate three older inner-city schools in Saskatoon: Princess Alexandra School, King George School and Pleasant Hill School in Saskatoon, on the land where Princess Alexandra currently sits.
However, after discussions with internal stakeholders the idea for an alternate site, Optimist Park, was presented, Skjerven wrote in his letter to the committee.
If the committee approves the site for the new school, SPS will conduct a validation study of both Optimist Park and Princess Alexandra School and the study will be shared with the Saskatoon Board of Education and the city committee, Skjerven said.
The City Centre School has a projected cost of $29 million with an anticipated school opening date of September 2024 or 2025. The new school would make room for 500 to 600 pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8 students and include a daycare facility with 74 childcare spaces, according to Skjerven.
Last year, Saskatoon city councillors asked the City’s administration to explore potential partnership with the school divisions to include a new joint-use recreation center in the City Centre School project scope.
Skjerven is expected to speak to the committee on Tuesday to make a case for Optimist Park to be the further location of a new core-neighbourhood school.