Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

Officials stood with the mayor and council of White City, Sask., and a concerned parent as they highlighted the need for a high school for a community that is growing.

On Oct. 24, 2023, during a press conference in White City, a concerned parent who lives in the RM of Edenwold said her kids commute 45 minutes each way on a bus to École White City School.

“I know that the school that they attend is over capacity and that is going to continue as they get up into high school,” Sam Lawler said. “So the students who live here in White City have to go all the way out to Balgonie, which is not really where the population centre is.”

There are two elementary schools in the White City and Emerald Park area that serve local students but also those who get bussed in from other areas. But after elementary school, students are forced to attend Greenall High School in Balgonie or go to Regina.

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“Both of those elementary schools are currently over-capacity,” White City Mayor Brian Fergusson said. “Our projections indicate that by 2030 we will have something on the order of 600 high school students from White City alone.”

The Saskatchewan NDP stated in a release that White City and Emerald Park is the only community in Saskatchewan with a population above 5,000 without a high school to match its needs.

“This is something that has been a top priority for this community for over a decade. This school should have been built years ago,” said Matt Love, the official Opposition critic for education. “Every dollar spent in our schools is a dollar for our kids and the future of our province.”

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In an email statement, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education told Global News it had received a major capital funding request from Prairie Valley School Division for a new high school in White City.

“This project will be reviewed by the ministry for consideration, decisions on awarding of funding are announced annually on budget day,” the statement read.

‘”Additionally, (Education) Minister (Jeremy) Cockrill is scheduled to meet with local White City officials and members from Prairie Valley School Division in November and looks forward to those discussions.”

The community has started a petition, which to date has garnered more than 700 signatures.

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