CBE’s Student Accommodation Plan and Facilities Strategy for Calgary's Growing Population

Jul. 04, 2024

​​​​Board of Trustees Approves the Ten-Year Student Accommodation and Facilities Strategy  

Two significant reports addressing the growing student population in the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) were recently published: the Ten-Year Student Accommodation and Facilities Strategy (SAFS) and the Three-Year System Student Accommodation Plan (SSAP)​. The reports effectively plan ways to maximize the use of existing schools and buildings and proactively identify areas where additional space will be required. They work with the Modular Classroom Program and Three-Year School Capital Plan to ensure learning spaces support student learning and achievement. Both reports underscore the pressing need for more student spaces and outline the strategy for accommodating Calgary's growing population.   

By addressing both immediate needs and long-term growth trends, the CBE can effectively use its resources to provide students with supportive learning environments. Through strategic planning and innovative approaches, we are committed to maintaining high education standards and ensuring our schools are prepared for the future. 

2024-20​34 Student Accommodation and Facilities Strategy (SAFS) 

On June 25, the Board of Trustees approved the 2024-34 SAFS. This strategy identifies future student accommodation needs within CBE facilities over the next ten years. The SAFS details how CBE’s future planning aligns with the City of Calgary's projected growth and development. 

2024-2034 Student Accommodation and Facilities Strategy

Highlights from the 20​​​24-2034 SAFS

  1. ​Calgary Growth Trends:
    • New and Developing Communities: Between 2006 and 2021, nearly 88 per cent of the population growth was in new and developing communities compared to 12.4 per cent in developed areas of the City. This means the need for additional schools will be greatest in these newer communities so more students can attend school closer to home.
    • Planning for Densification: The City has set a target of 33 per cent growth in developed areas by 2039 through densification plans. The CBE will continue collaborating with government and community partners to balance the need for learning spaces across the City.
  2. Capacity and Utilization:
    • Current Capacity: According to calculations by Alberta Education, the CBE can accommodate a maximum of 153,000 students with the current number of schools. The projected student enrolment for 2024-2025 is approximately 146,000.
    • Future Needs: An additional 40,000 spaces are needed to reduce the system-utilization rate from 93 per cent in the 2023-2024 school to 85 per cent by the 2033-2034 school year.​​

2024-2027 System Student Accommodation Plan (SSAP) 

The SSAP is an annual report that helps CBE identify potential accommodation adjustments needed to support schools based on current and projected enrolment. Schools are included on the SSAP when they face enrolment challenges within the next three years due to high or low utilization rates, a need to balance enrolment between schools, or other system needs. 

2024-2027 System Student Accommodation Plan​

​Highlights from the 2024-2027​ SSAP

  • Capacity Constraints: Most schools new to the SSAP are lis​ted as over or nearing their capacity, indicating an urgent need to manage student growth within available learning spaces.
  • Substantial Increase in schools identified on this year’s SSAP: There are 61 new projects. This highlights the substantial growth in the CBE this school year and the pressing need to manage the increasing student population.
  • Area-Specific Pressures: CBE Areas 1, 4 and 7 in the city’s developing NW and NE communities and the inner city have the most overcapacity projects listed on the SSAP.