Erin Ridge school offers positives
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 04:15 pm
Anger seems to be the theme of the day when discussing school sites in St. Albert proper. Specifically, the proposed francophone school along Eldorado Drive appears to be causing anger at a traffic and parking problem, anger at traffic speed, anger at elimination of green space, anger at noise, anger at litter and the possibility of a school on the vacant lot being an eyesore in the neighbourhood.
In all fairness to the Erin Ridge residents who are speaking up, they’re correct. In fact, a number of those problems already exist in the neighborhoods surrounding the Sturgeon Community Hospital.
But the proposal for a new high school holds many positives as well. The staff of the new school may be moving to St. Albert, bringing their salaries and families with them. Practically speaking, that’s great for the businesses around the hospital and the community.
A school zone in the area will also alleviate many of the speeding problems. Call the speeders what you will, but most will slow down when they know they’re in a school zone. The electronic speed display sign and photo radar will convert the remainder. As well, a school will definitely have turn lanes included in its traffic design, alleviating any delays from school buses etc.
The parking problem behind Sturgeon hospital is already substantial, but shouldn’t, in theory, get any worse with the school. The school should have at least some, if not all, of its own on-site parking.
Noise really shouldn’t be a major issue. The school is busiest only a couple times of day, such as when buses drop off in the morning and pick up in the p.m. After school activities won’t be much different from the soccer games already being played on the field, and the school is closed weekends, all statutory holidays and all summer long.
Litter is, sadly, a problem which faces all parts of St. Albert, not just schools.
As for being an eyesore, the site is roughly 10 acres, with the school no more than three. The francophone division has stated the school’s footprint will be about two acres. That’s still eight acres of green space.
City manager Patrick Draper hit the nail on the head when, in recent Gazette coverage, he reminded everyone involved to recall the primary reason the schools are coming to St. Albert: the kids here need them.
A new school is the sign of a healthy, growing community.