West School Building Project
A New Chapter in an Old Story: Capital Campaign for the West School Building Project
We request your prayers for the success of this project and that the planning process may go smoothly.
FAQs about the Campaign
When we joined EPS in 1999 we decided to continue the ownership of our buildings to allow for a more flexible partnership agreement. Since we own the buildings we need to pay for all renovations, additions and capital projects.
The project will cost $16 million.
We need to raise $3.5 million before we can start construction and we hope to raise at least $4 million by the end of 2018.
We will need to borrow up to $12 million from our bank and other lending institutions.
We will ask all members of our supporting community to make a 3 year pledge. This includes parents, grandparents, alumni, staff and supporters
Starting on September 15 we will begin the public phase of the campaign, asking all of our supporters to help out with a 3 year commitment.
You can make a donation in several ways:
- An immediate gift
- A monthly donation for 3 years
- An annual donation for 3 years
- Any other way you’d like!
- Cheque payable to ESCE
- Auto withdraw from your bank account
- Post-dated cheques
- Credit card
- Donation of Shares
- Estate gifts and Life Insurance policies
Yes! In Alberta, your donation is 50% tax deductible. EG: a donation of $10,000 results in a tax refund of $5,000.
A donation of shares to a charitable organization such as the Edmonton Society for Christian Education means that you will not be taxed on any capital gain on those shares.
e.g. If you paid $25,000 for some shares, they appreciated to $30,000 over several years, and then you donate the shares to us, you will not be taxed on the $5,000 Capital Gain. Furthermore, you receive a tax receipt for the entire $30,000 donation and get a $15,000 tax refund. Call us for more details on how you can donate in this way
We will invite everyone to make a pledge beginning in mid-September, 2018. Keep your ears peeled for emails and announcements of various kinds!
FAQs about the Building Project
Almost 30 years ago the West school went through a significant expansion. In order to save money the expansion included several modular classrooms. These modular classrooms need to be replaced as they are in need of constant repair and the infrastructure won’t hold up much longer. In addition, the air quality in that part of the building is poor.
The concept for the new building has been developed and the preliminary estimate for the cost of this building is $16 million.
- On December 4 we will call the community together to make a final decision about going forward with the project, including the financing plan.
- Anticipating a positive vote from the community regarding the building we will enter into detailed planning mode from March 2018 to November 2018.
- The first stage of the capital campaign will begin in May 2018 with the major campaign to follow in September 2018.
- In January 2019 students will be moved to temporary classrooms in other buildings. The grounds at West School will be prepared for the beginning of construction.
- We anticipate breaking ground in March 2019.
- By September 2020 the building should be ready for our students!
- The new building will include space for all of our kindergarten through grade 9 students.
- We hope to raise $4 million from supporters, parents and alumni.
- The rest of the money, $12 million, would be borrowed from the bank.
Presently the school still has a $2 million mortgage from building the NE campus in 2005. Each year for the past 3 years we have been paying over $600,000 towards the principal of that mortgage. Our plan is to have that mortgage paid by the time the new West campus is complete. Paying off the mortgage at this accelerated rate is very close to the amount of money that it would take to pay off a $10.5 million mortgage over a 20 year period. Unless interest rates rise we believe that we will not need to increase the Christian program fees.
Several options are available to us. The one that seems to be gaining traction is to have all of our kindergarten through grade 3 classes meet in the McQueen building, grades 4-6 in the junior high wing and grades 7-9 in newly leased portables and/or the high school.
We anticipate demolishing the McQueen building and using the space as an outdoor learning area including a playground.
The east playground will be taken down, stored and rebuilt on the west side of the building.
The junior high side of the building will undergo a $1.5 million renovation, which is included in the building price, and will be prepared for preschool-grade 3 students.
- Building Details
- Building Project in General
- Capital Campaign
- Construction Period
- Financial Details
- Parking and Drop off/Pick up
- Program Fees
- Supporting Community
Our dream is that we can do both. We have spoken at length with the architects about the possibilities of building an environmentally sensitive building. There have been discussions around following the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or Green Globes certification processes during both design and construction phases to ensure best use of financial and environmental resources.
We will tear down the McQueen building to make way for more green space.
No. Requests for proposals will go out in July or August, 2018 for a construction manager. Tenders for subcontractors will go out in January 2019.
We have had the junior high evaluated and there is a lot of potential for using this part of the building for the long term. Things that we are considering in the upgrade are new windows, new HVAC, redoing the outside of the building to match the new building, and renovating classrooms so that they are also flexible learning spaces and meet the needs of preschool to grade 3 students.
- December 4: community votes on the building project
- 2018: fundraising campaign
- January, 2019: development of the final detailed budget (tender
- May, 2019: construction begins
- September, 2020: new building opens to students and staff
A mutual decision has recently been made to no longer partner with the church.
We intend to take the current playground down and store it for the time being. Our intention then is to engage parents and staff in a conversation around what a new outdoor learning environment could look like which would include the present equipment that we now have. We are looking at using the space where the McQueen school now stands as an outdoor learning area.
Right now we don’t have any plans to upgrade the kitchen but we would certainly be open to doing that. We are thinking that a junior high home economics option could also work well in the present high school home economics room.
Our research indicates that the West school will likely remain at two classes per grade for the future. There are times however, that “the pig will have to go through the python”. A floater classroom is a good idea to consider.
Yes. We plan to provide a significant number of visitor and student spaces.
The drop-off and pick up hasn’t been fully discussed yet. We are thinking to have a bus lane where we can fit 6 buses. We would then have parents drop the students off on the sidewalk. There would be fenced off controlled access from the sidewalk to the school to ensure student safety.
We are planning for grades P-3 in the McQueen building, 4-6 in the junior high wing, portables for 7-8 and grade 9 in the high school.
We will separate the construction site from students. There will be some inconveniences but we will mitigate those as best we can.
About $2 million remains in the Northeast mortgage. This mortgage should be paid off by the time the West building is completed in 2020.
Most of the grant money that is offered by the government for projects like this comes from lottery funds. Our policy is that we do not apply for lottery money.
We are confident about the number but it will become clearer when we complete the schematic plan and design development. The number comes from the architect’s estimate as well as an opinion from a construction company.
We would need to reduce the scope of the project.
We have spent $67,000, mostly on architectural fees and survey costs.
No. However, it is hard to predict what our expenses will be in the future. We need to consider the possibility of higher interest rates which can quickly raise costs significantly.
Yes. We need to finish the Northeast School mortgage and then the new mortgage will begin.
Staff and volunteers will visit with potential donors throughout 2018 to answer questions and ask for support. All parents and supporters will be asked to contribute via visit, phone or email.
Enrolment at West has remained steady for about 15 years except for a 10% increase in the last 5 years. We expect that West school will remain at two classes per grade over the long-term. There are periods, however, of surging or declining enrolment and it is important to plan for those moments. We will handle enrolment as it happens.
On Monday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the main West building.