For anyone new to our Fort Saskatchewan Catholic schools, we are four Catholic schools that have been restructured from three Catholic schools upon the completion of a new Catholic high school. Within the restructuring process we have the following changes:
- St. John XXIII (SJXXIII) (grades K-4) has half the number of students as half of the students were reallocated to OLA.
- Our Lady of the Angels (OLA) has changed from a middle school (grades 5-8) into an elementary school (grades K-4).
- St. John Paul II (JPII) has changed from a high school (grades 9-12) into a middle school (grades 5-8).
- St. Andre Bessette (SAB) is a new build for a high school (grades 9-12).
These changes were much needed, but have resulted in the playgrounds, equipment and outdoor spaces being inappropriate or non-existent for three of the four schools. We are left with the current problems that need remedying:
- OLA (grades K-4): has 30-year-old playground equipment more appropriate for a middle school
- JPII (grades 5-8): does not have any playground or outdoor play structures since it had been a high school
- JPII (grades 5-8): we will need to remove half of the parking lot to make room for an outdoor play structure
- SAB (grades 9-12): does not have any outdoor gathering spaces and needs benches or picnic tables
- SJXXIII (grades K-4): due to school enrollment at full capacity for so long, the playground is worn. They just received a bill for $40,000 to replace a broken play structure.
We are applying for grants and fundraising to replace old playgrounds and to build new ones where needed. We are fundraising as one community as we see our Catholic schools as one family, with close connections with each other. We plan on raising these funds together, and together building outdoor spaces adequate for all our Catholic schools. As ambitious as it sounds, we would like to complete our fundraising within 18 months.