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Temporary schools planned for Fort Macleod students

G.R. Davis school gets one last hurrah before it closes.
Grade 6-12 students, along with Kindergarten and preschool children, will call G.R. Davis home for the next two years.
Grade 1-5 students, meanwhile, will be housed in the former Lethbridge College satellite campus building.
The temporary homes will be needed once the $18-million modernization of W.A. Day and F.P. Walshe schools begins this summer.
With the two schools slated to become construction sites for the next two years, it became necessary to find temporary homes for Fort Macleod’s children.
“We’ve been looking all over town, outside of town, at various opportunities,” said Richard Feller, who will be principal of Kindergarten to Grade 5 students.
Plans for decanting the students for the next two years were presented May 12 during a tri-school council meeting at G.R. Davis school.
Feller said the former Lethbridge College satellite campus building, which originally housed public health services, will provide a good home.
“I believe it will work for Grade 1 to 5,” Feller said.
There was not room, however, to adequately house preschool and Kindergarten classes, so they will be in the east end of G.R. Davis school.
Parent Becky Gouchie expressed concern that preschool and Kindergarten children will lose the important aspect of socialization being separated from the Grade 1-5 children.
“There was no building big enough,” to house preschool to Grade 5, Feller said.
That provided small consolation for Gouchie, who said, “I am not happy.”
Feller said he understood the concern but did not have a solution.
“I’m not sure what else we can do,” Feller said. “It was just the first way we looked at organizing the schools. It felt like the best way.”
Parents also questioned where junior and senior high school sports teams will practice and play.
Bill Forster, who next year becomes principal for Grade 6-12 students, said the plan is to offer the same opportunities in the next two years as have always been provided.
In a worst case scenario, Forster said, some teams could be retracted at the junior high level.
When the Grade 6-12 school opens in 2016 following the modernization of F.P. Walshe, the school’s sports programs will be evaluated.
Forster was not able to provide any specifics on locations for practices and games next season at the tri-school council meeting May 12 at G.R. Davis school.
“There are some irons in the fire,” Forster said.

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