Take a look at the numbers and you will see that Ward 12 continues to be the fastest growing area in the entire city. Southeast Calgary has dramatically evolved in the last ten years. New communities have attracted a lot of wonderful young families looking for places that they can live, work and play.
Growth doesn’t come without growing pains. Many young families in Ward 12 have been faced with the reality of having their children take lengthy bus rides to go to schools far away from their communities.
Prior to my time on Council I spent 31 years as an educator and I have always seen schools as the centre of a great community. It is no secret that it has been a challenge to provide the infrastructure needed for the rapid growth we have seen in southeast Calgary. I am so thrilled that significant steps have been taken by your local school trustees and MLAs to begin correcting this infrastructure deficit.
This fall we will be seeing an unprecedented number of new schools opening in Ward 12. Many of these schools will be opening next week while others will be opening their doors a little later into the school year. Having schools within walking distance is an outcome of the tremendous public investments being made in our communities and residents of southeast Calgary certainly have cause to celebrate.
During my time as principal of a number of schools in Calgary and the surrounding area I had the opportunity to hear concerns from a lot of parents. One of the biggest concerns I heard was about the safety of children crossing streets in and around school sites. This is one of the biggest areas where I see direct similarities to the feedback I hear in my role representing the communities of Ward 12.
Families are pleased that these schools are finally opening in their communities, but they also want the peace of mind to know that their children will be able to get to and from school safely. Over the summer my office has been working diligently with the Roads department to prepare these school sites for the fall openings. I made it very clear that we needed to see the appropriate pedestrian infrastructure in place prior to the opening of the schools. Crosswalk lines and school zone signs would be installed when the school opened regardless, so why not proactively get these things in place?
I have been very pleased with the response from Roads on my requests. They have prioritized many of these school sites to ensure we are ready for a safe start to the school year.
My team would be happy to take feedback on traffic safety issues in school zones as children head back to class. If you have any concerns about these new school sites, please contact my office at CAWard12@Calgary.ca.
You can also keep updated on these new schools through the school board websites:
Congratulations to the school boards and have a happy and safe school year!