Rosscarrock School first of many at risk for closure in long-term plan

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“This school was constructed in 1960 and has capacity for 450 students. At that time, an elementary school within a small community like this was viable owing to the great number of children in the community.

“But today the CBE typically builds one elementary for every 10,000 residents for communities three times the size of Rosscarrock. And despite the city’s densification efforts, student enrolment numbers at Rosscarrock have continued to drop.”

According to the CBE’s “Three-Year System Student Accommodation Plan 2020-2023,” some inner-city neighbourhoods have shown an increasing trend in enrolment growth, while some outer developed suburban communities are showing a declining trend.

“The growth in inner-city neighbourhoods, while good, is where schools were built in the 1950s or earlier and require significant capital investments for modernizations and upgrades,” the report says.

“The declining trend in the outer developed communities, combined with a projected decline in enrolment by 2029, will require CBE to review schools with low utilization rates with the possibility of consolidations of programs, closures, and/or use of space for other school board uses.”

Taking into consideration current enrolment projections and trends, the report continues, a reduction of approximately 9,500 spaces would be required to achieve a mid-80 per cent overall utilization rate.

Based on current standards of constructing elementary schools with 600 student spaces, that would equate to about 16 schools.

The CBE’s Three Year School Capital Plan is prepared each year with the goal of achieving an overall mid-80 per cent system utilization rate to ensure all students are provided with diverse and robust programming with their peers.

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