Frequently Asked Questions

The following are answers to frequently asked questions about the 12 Alberta schools being delivered using a public-private partnership (P3) and the ABC Schools Partnership.

ABC Schools Partnership is the private partner consortium selected to design, build and finance 12 new schools in some of Alberta’s fastest growing communities, and maintain them for 30 years. The finance partners are HOCHTIEF Solutions AG and Concert Infrastructure Ltd. The industry partners who will design and build the schools include: Turner Construction Company, Clark Builders, Stantec Architecture Ltd. and Stantec Consulting Ltd. Ainsworth Inc. will maintain the schools.

The Government of Alberta followed a competitive bidding process to select the private industry partner. Proposals were rigorously evaluated for the private contractor’s financial, technical and organizational capacity to complete the project and to ensure bids provided Alberta taxpayers with good value for dollars spent. Based on this analysis, ABC Schools Partnership was contracted to design, build, and finance the 12 new Alberta schools, and maintain them for 30 years.

In September 2012, the Alberta government entered into a contract with ABC Schools Partnership to design, build, finance and maintain for 30 years 12 new schools in some of Alberta’s fastest-growing communities. These 12 new schools are scheduled to be completed in June 2014 and ready to open for the 2014/2015 school year.

This same P3 approach to providing Alberta schools was used twice previously resulting in 18 new schools that opened for students in September 2010, and 10 new schools that opened for students in September 2012.

There are a number of benefits to using a P3 approach for building these 12 schools including:

Economies of Scale

  • one contractor is responsible for building all schools
  • a fixed construction price is guaranteed
  • the school delivery (completion) date is guaranteed
  • risks are transferred to the contractor after tender (examples include inflation in construction costs, and weather-related delays)

Value to taxpayers

Through this P3 approach, the 12 new schools will provide Alberta taxpayers a savings of $43 million compared to the cost of doing the same work through traditional delivery methods.

Schools completed faster
12 new schools will open in communities with high-priority school infrastructure needs up to two years sooner than the traditional method.

30-year maintenance warranty

A key benefit of the P3 is the 30-year maintenance warranty, which ensures students and communities will have a school that is guaranteed to be in good condition 30 years after it opens.

For each project, the Government of Alberta looks at the best way to deliver the best product to meet the needs of the school communities while ensuring value for taxpayers. In the case of these 12 P3 schools, the government’s analysis determined that the best way to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver this large number of much needed new schools was through a P3 approach.

The government will continue to work closely with, and consult with, school boards to determine the best methods to deliver the school facilities students, teachers and communities need.

These 12 P3 schools are part of a $550 million commitment Government made to invest in 35 new school projects in high-needs locations throughout the province.  These 35 school projects are expected to be completed for the beginning of the 2014/2015 school year.

Government continues to address the need for new and modernized school projects in other areas of the province through its capital planning process.

Modular classrooms provide school boards flexibility to adjust to changing enrollment requirements as the classrooms can be added or removed from core schools as required.  Like the core school building, the modular classrooms are designed for improved health and comfort of students and teachers, and wired to meet technology needs.  They look like permanent classrooms on the inside with painted drywall, drop ceilings and large windows.

Built to provincial standards, the innovative core schools feature a core building that includes the essentials such as a gymnasium, library, administrative offices and individual spaces for music, art and science. Each school is designed for a defined number of modular classrooms to bring it to maximum capacity. Modular classrooms can be added (in limited numbers) or subtracted to the core building to allow school boards the flexibility to adjust to changing student enrolments and program needs.

Standard core school designs provide equitable facilities that meet provincial school standards and guidelines, and support the Alberta curriculum. The core school designs are also easily adaptable to different sites across the province.

Some of the P3 schools will use standard core school designs while all will meet provincial construction standards and will be built to achieve (at a minimum) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, an independent rating system used to measure environmental and energy efficiency. LEED Silver-rated buildings are up to 45 percent more energy efficient than conventional buildings and provide healthier environments as a result of improved air quality and the use of natural light.

Modular classrooms are also designed and constructed to meet LEED Silver standards when attached to a LEED Silver certified school.

The 12 new P3 schools will be completed by June 2014, with anticipated opening for students by September 2014.

The 12 new P3 schools will provide space for up to 7,700 students.

The 12 new P3 schools will be owned, controlled and operated by the school boards, just as all schools are now. Use and access to the new schools will be managed like existing schools.

Yes. Programs such as before- and after-school care and the use of gymnasiums, meeting rooms and classrooms for evening and weekend athletic activities and community events can all be accommodated, as they are generally covered by joint-use agreements.

It is the jurisdiction’s decision whether or not to make these facilities available for community uses outside of its traditional joint-use agreement. School boards will assume or be responsible for all associated risks through such an arrangement.

ABC Schools Partnership will maintain and renew the schools under a 30-year maintenance warranty. Any replacement required of building fabric or equipment (e.g., roof or boiler) is included in the contract. At the end of the 30-year term, ABC Schools Partnership will leave students, teachers and communities with schools guaranteed to be in good condition.

Because ABC Schools Partnership is responsible to design, construct, and maintain the building, they are responsible for all building maintenance issues until the end of the contract in 2044.

You can make a specific enquiry by filling out our online contact form or by calling our toll free number: 1.855.858.1444.

Please visit the websites of our construction and maintenance partners for information on employment opportunities related to the 12 new schools P3 project and ABC Schools Partnership.
Clark Builders:
Ainsworth Inc.: