ALBERTA
12/16/2013 12:54 EST | Updated 02/15/2014 05:59 EST

New Edmonton, Calgary Schools Announced By Alberta Government

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EDMONTON - The Alberta government has announced a new school for Calgary and one for Edmonton to help deal with the province's growing population.

Calgary's new school will be for Catholic separate school students in kindergarten to Grade 6 in the Aspen Woods neighbourhood.

Edmonton's school will be for kindergarten to Grade 9 separate school students in Windemere.

The two schools are to provide spaces for up to 1,500 students.

Premier Alison Redford did not release how much the new schools will cost, when construction will be complete or how they will be financed.

Redford suggests the province may use general revenue, borrow money or build them as public-private partnerships.

"We are committed to making sure that the infrastructure that Albertans need today is in place today," she said Monday.

"Kids need schools. You can't have kids sitting outside, learning under trees."

Earlier this month, the province announced that three other new schools are to be built, including two in Fort McMurray and one in Grande Prairie.

One other school project is expected to be announced in southern Alberta Wednesday, but there was no immediate information on where it will be built.

The six schools are to provide up to 4,200 new student spaces.

Opposition parties were quick to send Redford to the back of the class over the announcement.

Wildrose education critic Bruce McAllister said it is doubtful the government will be able to keep its promise to finish the new schools it has promised before 2016.

McAllister said it typically takes about three years to build a school.

"Our kids need these schools and today's announcement is a good step, but these delays all seem to indicate they will not be built on time," he said.

The NDP said the government isn't building enough new schools to meet the demand.

NDP Education critic Deron Bilous said the government's desire to build some of the projects as public-private partnerships is slowing down the process.

"Teachers in both Calgary and Edmonton are saying they're desperate for almost 60 new schools in the next three years, and this government is announcing, not building, two new schools today," he said.

"We know there is a lack of P3 contractors willing to take on these projects."

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