Airdrie is a youthful community, with the 2019 census reporting 30 per cent of its population between the ages of 0-19. This has created a demand for an elementary school from each quarter-section of residential development and put pressure on the reserve available to meet the recreational and park needs set out in the Sports Field Management Plan and the Great Places Plan. No additional reserve is available for high schools under provincial legislation. The school boards operating in Airdrie (Rocky View School Division, Calgary Catholic School District, Conseil Scolaire FrancoSud) have an education mandate and are not provided with funds to assemble lands for high school demand.
City Council identified this community growth issue and adopted an interim development policy for the Community Area Structure Plans (CASPs) the West Hills, Davy Creek, Southwest Airdrie, and Southeast Yankee Valley Boulevard future development areas. This policy established a voluntary charge for new residential development until a mutually agreeable funding strategy for high school land assembly could be developed.
City Administration collaborated with Building Industry and Land Development Association – Calgary Region (BILD CR) and the local school boards to establish a land assembly funding solution captured under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
BILD CR endorsed the MOU in September 2021 and Airdrie City Council endorsed the MOU in principle at their regular meeting on September 20, 2021. This document is now being brought to the trustees of the respective school boards for review and decision, with an updated document for Airdrie City Council and all parties to review anticipated for Q4 2021 or Q1 2022.