Joint High School/Rec Centre - Frequently Asked Questions

How much will the joint High School/Rec Centre cost?

The estimated cost of the Rec Centre is $10 million and the additional estimated cost of a new High School is $39 million. Collectively the estimated costs of a joint rec centre/high school is $49 million. 

What is the town doing to ensure safety at the highway and railroad tracks crossing? 

The Town of Coaldale will be installing signal lights at the intersection of 30th street and highway 3. Additionally, the Town will be erecting a fence between highway 3 and 30th street east and the intersection of highway 3 and highway 845 for the purposes of mitigating the risk of jaywalking. There will also be upgrades to the at grade pedestrian crossing at both intersections to further insure pedestrian safety. 

The Town will also make efforts to undertake upgrades as required to 16th avenue, 18th avenue and 30th street to assist with traffic management and site access.  

 Lastly, we are working with CP Rail to obtain a grant via Transport Canada for the purposes of constructing a raised pedestrian overpass at the most suitable intersection that connects the south with the north.

What happens if there is an emergency and a train is blocking access to the site?

A train could block the most direct access to the site, however CP Rail has indicated that there are no trains that run through Coaldale that are long enough to block all 4 access points along Highway 3 within Town boundaries (30th, HW 845, 11th and 8th). Emergency services has worked, and will continue to work, with CP Rail to ensure there are safety plans in place for all emergency scenarios. More information can be found in this information package.

Will residents have a say in the design of the high school and rec centre and what’s included?

While the ultimate goal of the project is a joint multi-use high school and rec centre, the high school and rec centre will be treated as individual projects under the responsibility of Palliser Regional Schools and the Town of Coaldale, respectively. The Town and Palliser Regional Schools will collaborate with FWBA Architects to ensure the final product offers the efficiencies that are expected of a joint multi-use facility.

Palliser Regional Schools will be responsible for the design of the high school and will be taking the appropriate steps necessary to engage their key stakeholders (i.e. students, parents, school staff) during the design phase of the project. 

The Town of Coaldale will be responsible for the design of the multi-use rec centre and will be holding a series of community engagement sessions that provide opportunities for further input and dialogue around the features of the new facility. We will be looking to the public to help determine what specific recreational offerings will be chosen to ensure that they support the growing needs of our community. Engagement sessions are planned this fall in October and November - dates/times/locations to be provided in the coming weeks.

How will the Operations and Maintenance costs of the Multi-Use Rec facility be handled? Will taxes go up because of this? 

Because the building will be a joint use facility between the high school (Palliser School Division) and recreation facility (Town of Coaldale), the operation and maintenance for this facility will be divided between the Town of Coaldale and the Palliser School District. Between this and user fees, it is anticipated that the facility will have a cost neutral impact on the Town’s operating budget. Taxes are not projected to increase for this project.  

Do we have funding from the Province?

We are currently awaiting final approval from the Province of Alberta on $39 Million grant funding to develop the High School.

Does this project go forward without Provincial funding?

The Rec Centre portion of the joint High School/Rec Centre project is intended to be built regardless of the status of the high school. The centre will be built in such a way that the high school can be attached to it once funding is confirmed from the provincial government. 

Why is Kate Andrews High School being replaced when it’s only at 53% capacity? 

Building a new high school will allow for a shift in grades at the elementary school and middle school, allowing for future growth and the accommodation of the town’s many young families. For more information you can contact the Palliser School district.

What happens if any additional grant funding or sponsorship dollars are procured? Are these avenues being actively pursued?

Our grants coordinator is actively pursuing funding opportunities for this project and other major capital projects. Any additional funding that is procured will allow for less of a capital investment by the town.

Will there be infrastructure upgrades to account for the increased traffic and growth?

The Town of Coaldale has committed to $5 million in infrastructure upgrades, including:

  • Signal lights at HWY 3 / 30th Street  

  • Integrated pathway system along the north and south side of Coaldale  

  • Service extensions (west from 16th Avenue)  

  • Road widening (18th Avenue and 30th Street) 

  • Extension of 16th Avenue west to the site of the School/Rec center  

  • Expansion of the Malloy Drain holding pond to account for the post-development runoff of the project 

Why was Site A chosen?

The economic ripple effects from using Site A as the location for the proposed project are significant. It sets the stage for the future growth of West Coaldale due to the natural flow of the existing utility infrastructure. 

New development will require new utility infrastructure to tie into the existing utility lines in Northern Coaldale. Flowing these upgrades through Northwest Coaldale creates an opportunity for the new development of Northwest and Southwest Coaldale. This solution is not only optimal from an engineering perspective, but also from an economic perspective. This provides the opportunity to use revenues from new developments to pay for the infrastructure as the costs are incurred. Other alternatives would lead to high upfront costs with lower associated revenue to pay for these costs, leaving a higher financial burden for the residents of Coaldale to carry. 

As part of the recent annexation process with a focus on North and West growth of Coaldale, the Town previously acquired land in northwest Coaldale, noted as “Site A”. A portion of this land was used to construct Phase II(a) of the Malloy Drain, with the 95 acres of land remaining for future development. Selecting Site A for the proposed school/multi-use recreation centre will result in 75 acres of land available for residential development. Not only will this increase the value of Coaldale’s real estate holdings, it will also act as the lynch-pin for future commercial and residential development along Highway 3 / West Coaldale. 

For more information you can view the information brief here.

Will the Multi-Use Recreation Facility include an indoor pool? 

The community’s expressed desire for an indoor pool has been acknowledged in the Town’s 2019-2021 Capital Budget, however no funding has been set aside for this project at this time.  However, the Town is looking at exploring alternative business models -- like a public/private partnership -- that would see an indoor pool come to Coaldale. This model has the benefit of bringing an amenity to Coaldale without shouldering the entire cost (capital and operating) directly onto the taxpayers.  

Are there any future public engagement activities/opportunities that are planned for this project? 

The Town will facilitate a series of community consultation sessions over the fall of 2019 in collaboration with the architectural consultants retained by the town and Palliser school district to help determine the amenities to be included in the rec centre. Once those sessions are announced you will find information on them here.