H.A. Kostash School
Replacement Project

Last updated: March 17, 2021

What’s new?

At its March 11, 2021 meeting, the Board of Trustees of Aspen View Public Schools, in collaboration with Alberta Infrastructure, Alberta Education, Stantec and both the Town & County of Smoky Lake, unveiled design plans for the new H.A. Kostash School in Smoky Lake.

The project design team has worked diligently over the past several months to design a new school in which all students, staff and the community feel welcome, included, engaged and safe.

The Town and County of Smoky Lake have both been key contributors to the new school project, collaborating to fund the inclusion of a community daycare space within the new school. As well, both municipalities have collaborated to facilitate an increase of more than 10 per cent in the size of the school gymnasium, beyond the size funded by Alberta Infrastructure.

Alberta Infrastructure and Alberta Education are presently preparing the project tender, which is expected to be posted shortly with the awarding of a contract scheduled for July 2021.

Construction of the new H.A. Kostash School is anticipated for completion in early 2023.


Where will the new school be built?

The new school will be built on the current HAK property, north of the present school on 54th Avenue. The Town arena, skatepark and courts, community pavilion and playground are all close enough to be conveniently accessed by the school. Accessing the school from 54th Avenue is beneficial for traffic and pedestrian flow, and allows the school to be a prominent building in the Town landscape, that can even be seen from the highway.

When will the new school be built?

Construction is currently scheduled to start in mid-2021, with completion slated for early 2023.

How big will the new school be?

The new school is planned to be 4,556 square metres in size, for a total capacity of 478 students (K-12). For comparison, the current HAK is 6,175 square metres with a maximum capacity of 630.

Why is the new school smaller than the current school?

New school projects are sized according to recent enrollment history and projections. Student enrolment throughout rural Alberta, including Aspen View, has been consistently declining for several years. However, over that time HAK’s enrollment has remained the most stable of all Aspen View schools.

How much will the new school cost? Who is paying for it?

All new school projects are funded by Alberta Infrastructure. The budget for the new HAK project is approximately $15 million.

Alberta Infrastructure only funds the new school project itself. However, the Town and County of Smoky Lake have committed $600,000 to integrate a daycare space into the school project. As well, the Town and County of Smoky Lake have committed $170,000 to increase the size of the gymnasium within the new school, beyond the size funded by Alberta Infrastructure. Aspen View Public Schools also committed $100,000 from its capital reserves to fund a larger gymnasium.

Who determined what the new school will look like?

Alberta Infrastructure has established guidelines for how space should be allocated within new school projects based on current and projected enrollments. There is flexibility for school divisions, working with Alberta Infrastructure and the project architect, to make adjustments to these allocations to meet unique needs. As well, there is flexibility for school divisions to work with the architect to determine how space will be configured within the new school project as part of its design.

For the new H.A. Kostash School project, Aspen View Public Schools formed a design committee comprised of: Trustees Tom Mykytiuk and Donna Cherniwchan; Superintendent Neil O’Shea and Secretary-Treasurer Aimee Hirtle; H.A Kostash School principal Dick Richards; maintenance supervisor Dave Kwiatkowski; and community representatives Adam Kozakiewicz (Town of Smoky Lake) and Jordan Ruegg (Smoky Lake County). The design committee visited 14 new school projects across Alberta in the spring/summer of 2020; gathered input from current staff at HAK, and conducted a survey that drew input from close to 50 H.A. Kostash School families. The feedback received was regularly shared with Alberta Infrastructure and the project architect during design meetings.

What happens to the current school building?

An agreement has been reached with the Town of Smoky Lake to retain the 1986 addition to the school gymnasium, commonly referred to as ‘small gymnasium’. That portion of the building, the parking lot, and a defined amount of land surrounding it, will be transferred to the Town of Smoky Lake.

Due to its age, current condition and lack of accessibility, the remainder of the current building is slated for demolition. Funding for demolition is included in the project budget. 

Will there be a playground?

Playgrounds are not funded by Alberta Infrastructure as part of the new school project. However, the Government of Alberta has a separate grant program that provides up to $250,000 for playground projects. Aspen View Public Schools plans to apply to this program.

Should grant funding not be available, every effort will be made to relocate the existing playground equipment to the new school site.

Do you have a question about the new HAK project? Send it to communications@aspenview.org and we will do our best to respond, and may include it as these FAQs are updated.

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