Division News Article

BCHS Modernization & Right-Sizing Project Begins

December 6th, 2023

Pembina Hills is pleased to announce that the plans for the Barrhead Composite High School (BCHS) Modernization and Right-sizing project have begun. The project is the top priority on the School Board’s three-year capital plan

The intent of this modernization is to retain the school’s large CTS and drama spaces; utilize one gym as an open gathering area; provide necessary upgrades to mechanical, electrical, roofing and exterior components of the school and perform a modernization in other areas of the school. Right-sizing will reduce the school’s footprint to serve 820 students (BCHS enrollment in 2023-24 is ~737 and by 2027-2028 is projected to be ~664) while maintaining the 32 Instructional Spaces required, per the Alberta Education Capital manual.

Building History

BCHS was built in several sections with the original portion constructed in 1958 and was expanded upon in the 1960s and 1980s to accommodate 1,227 students. While some upgrades have occurred since the building was constructed, the school needs a series of extensive modernization upgrades as well as “right-sizing” to accommodate current and projected enrollments. 

Design Process to Begin January 2024

On March 1, 2023, this project was approved for design funding as part of the Alberta Government’s Approved School Capital Projects announcements. Design funding includes the preparation of construction tender documents such as drawings, specifications and permits. Construction funding will wait to be approved in a future provincial budget.

The design process will begin in January 2024 and the design team will be working with the school to determine the final design footprint. Once completed, the long-term operational costs will be decreased, saving the division money. 

No Programming Changes

The modernization project will not result in any reduction of program offerings for junior and senior high students. Any future program changes will be a result of student interest. 

We are just commencing the design phase and are excited about the long-term benefits of a fully modern school with new furnishings, revamped interior and spaces that are conducive for collaboration and learning in the future. The division will communicate to the staff and community as the project progresses.