The Government of Alberta announced that construction is complete on five public-private partnership (P3) high schools, opening doors to new classrooms for over 6,900 students across Alberta this fall.

Through this latest P3 build, Alberta’s government saved $114.5 million to deliver these much-needed high schools located in Blackfalds, Langdon, Leduc and two in Edmonton. These savings are based on the cost compared to deliver the high schools using other methods. This P3 project also injected millions of dollars into these local communities and supported about 1,700 construction-related jobs.

“Alberta’s government is committed to building the school infrastructure students across the province need. P3 builds represent our commitment to ensuring schools are built, and Alberta taxpayers get the best value for their investment. I cannot wait for students to enjoy their new spaces,” said Pete Guthrie, Minister of Infrastructure.

“We are building schools in Alberta’s fastest growing communities. These new schools will create more than 6,900 spaces for students to get the most out of their education, make life-long friends and discover their passions,” said Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Education.

“We’re proud to have delivered these much-needed schools on time and within budget, reinforcing Concert Infrastructure’s reputation for community-building and our quality infrastructure,” expressed Derron Bain, Chief Executive Officer of Concert Infrastructure. “These high schools are more than mere buildings; they epitomize modern educational institutions poised to nurture learning for generations, enhancing the economic and social vitality of our communities—a commitment further underscored by the investment of Canadian union and management pension plans in this essential public infrastructure.”
The P3 bundle of five high schools includes:
  • Iron Ridge Secondary Campus in Blackfalds, Wolf Creek Public Schools
  • Elder Dr. Francis Whiskeyjack School in Edmonton, Edmonton Public Schools
  • Father Michael McCaffery Catholic High School in Edmonton, Edmonton Catholic Schools
  • Horseshoe Crossing High School in Langdon, Rocky View Schools
  • Ohpaho Secondary School in Leduc, Black Gold School Division
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In 2021, following the competitive procurement process, Concert-Bird Partners was awarded the contract for the P3 bundle of five high schools. They presented the lowest bid price of $300.3 million net present value (NPV).

“We are proud of the strong, collaborative partnership between Concert-Bird Partners and the Government of Alberta, which enabled the on-time, on-budget delivery of these five high schools. Their successful completion underscores the P3 model’s effectiveness in delivering critical public infrastructure, creating vibrant, welcoming environments where students thrive academically and socially,” said Ian Podmore, group head, development and construction, concert infrastructure and project lead, Concert-Bird Partners.

The project lead investor and manager was Concert Infrastructure, with construction by Bird Design‐Build Construction Inc. and Wright Construction Western Inc.; design by BR2 Architecture; and maintenance and renewal by Ainsworth Inc., ensuring optimal functionality for years to come. Under a 30-year design-build-finance-maintain contract, the high schools will be owned and operated by their respective school jurisdictions.

Procurement is underway to deliver another bundle of seven new Alberta schools using a P3. Once opened, these new schools located in Airdrie, Blackfalds, Calgary, Chestermere, Okotoks and two in Edmonton will create over 7,000 spaces for Alberta students.

A shortlist of two proponents, qualifying from the Request for Qualifications stage (closed April 29), have been invited to participate in the Request for Proposals stage.

A contract with the successful proponent is anticipated to be in place in early 2025, with construction beginning by that summer.

The P3 bundle of seven schools include:

  • K-8 school in Airdrie SW, Rocky View Schools
  • K-5 school in Blackfalds, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools
  • K-9 school in Calgary Nolan Hill, Calgary Catholic School District
  • K-9 school in Chestermere, Calgary Catholic School District
  • K-9 school in Edmonton Edgemont, Edmonton Public Schools
  • Grade 7-12 school in Edmonton Glenridding Heights, Edmonton Public Schools
  • K-9 school (replacement of K-6 École Good Shepherd) in Okotoks, Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools
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Featured image: The new Iron Ridge Secondary Campus in Blackfalds, Alta. (Alberta Infrastructure)

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