June 18th, 2024

Name of new westside elementary school unveiled

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on May 31, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge School Division has announced the name of their new elementary school located in the westside neighbourhood of Garry Station.
During a small ceremony involving various officials from the division along with multiple organizations involved in the naming process, Allison Purcell chair of the Board of Trustees for the division revealed the name to be West Coulee Station Elementary School.
Purcell said after the ceremony that after receiving 31 submissions from members of the pubic, they went through a selection process that involved many people.
“The requesting names from the community went out back in the fall for people to put in their submissions and there were some guidelines around that,” said Purcell.
She explained that if the name suggested was a name of a person or a location, certain rules needed to be followed.
“We gathered a community together with students, teachers, staff, elders within our community and those people were able to provide us with some rich history about what has happened on this side of the city,” said Purcell.
One of those people was Lethbridge Historical Society president Belinda Crowson, who provided them with a historical background, along with having Indigenous representation throughout the process.
“From that process, that committee made recommendations to our board and our board got to review those names, have some discussion and then through great debate and voting, we were able to narrow down to two choices and then came to this one decision,” said Purcell.
Purcell said the chosen name was representative of the community where the school is located.
“We are meeting on the coulees area, as well as the rich history of the railway station area, so we are bringing those two names together to have a great name that will be the foundation for our students that are going to attend this school,” said Purcell.
The school will be ready for September 2025 to initially host 600 students but with the possibility to host up to 900. Dean Hawkins has been selected as the principal.
Purcell said West Coulee Station Elementary School will help stabilize the school capacity for many of the division’s schools located in the city’s westside.
“Our schools on the westside are certainly exploding. They don’t have space for the students that are in them.”
Purcell gave a couple of examples including Coalbanks Elementary School and Mike Mountain Horse School which have surpassed the original capacity, with MMH requiring multiple modulars that are attached to be able to accommodate students.
“So the space here on the westside is absolutely needed for our division, for our students. To be able to learn in a wonderful classroom environment that they have space to learn and grow,” said Purcell.

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