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Decommission of Kingsland School

Decommission of Kingsland School

History and background


Built in 1958, the Kingsland School served its community until 2007, when its function as a school ended. For the next 12 years, it was used by the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) for various administrative purposes. In November 2020, Alberta Education declared the Kingsland School a surplus school and it was closed. It has been vacant since summer 2020.

Because it was located on Municipal and School Reserve land, The City of Calgary took on ownership of the Kingsland school building and its property.

When the building was accepted into The City’s facility portfolio in April 2021, we took extensive steps to assess its condition and its potential for future use. Comprehensive investigations confirmed extensive roof damage, a deteriorating building envelope, and the presence of mold requiring occupants to wear an N-95 mask for health purposes.

The facility was no longer safe for inhabitants and its repair was  not functionally or financially feasible.

Based on the building condition and thorough consideration of the investment required to repair it, The City determined that the Kingsland School facility was at the stage of its lifecyclewhen demolition is the optimal solution.

The decision to decommission a building is based on key factors including health and safety for occupants, lifecycle considerations, current building condition, the facility’s ability to meet an intended purpose, and the required investment.

The existing green space on this site will remain. The City will continue to provide snow and ice control, mowing and tree care on the site.

The two Kingsland School property playgrounds were also at the end of their lifecycle in terms of structural stability. They were removed at the time of building demolition. 

Long-term future use for this property has not been established; however, The City will consider a variety of feasible options for this designated Municipal and School Reserve land. This type of Reserve land is typically used for schools, public parks, sports fields, or for other public recreation purposes. (Note that the Calgary Board of Education has indicated that educational requirements are being met by other nearby CBE schools and it does not intend to build another school here). 

The City commits to providing updates to the community. 

July 2024 update

  • Fall 2023 to Q3 2024: Kingsland School building and playground demolition. Site remediation, regrading and seeding. (In progress)
  • July 2024: Installation of temporary Kingsland Summer Park Pilot.
  • Mid-July to Oct 2024: Kingsland Summer Park “Pop-up” open to enjoy.

Frequently asked questions


General FAQs

What steps were taken to decide that building demolition was the best option?

Since the building was accepted into The City’s facility portfolio in April 2021, we’ve taken extensive steps to assess its condition and its potential for future use.

Initial inspections of the building revealed roof damage and a deteriorating building envelope. We quickly took steps to address safety concerns and installed a shoring system to stabilize the roof.

While we carried out further investigations, we maintained the building as we would for any facility in our portfolio. To mitigate increasing vandalism on the vacant building, we monitored the property with a mobile security patrol and installed fencing around the building perimeter.

To understand what work we’d need to do to bring the building back to an ideal operating state, The City conducted the following investigations:

  • A Building Condition Assessment (BCA) in June 2021. A BCA is essential to understand what repairs are needed in both the short and long term to make the building efficient, sustainable, and sound.
  • Based on the recommendations from the BCA, a further roof and structural assessment was done in September and November 2021.
  • An air quality assessment in September 2021.
  • In August 2022, a third-party structural engineer was engaged to reassess the building’s condition and to determine costs to bring it back to safe and efficient use for the long term.

What is wrong with the building?

Our comprehensive investigations confirmed extensive roof damage, a deteriorating building envelope, and the presence of mould requiring occupants to wear an N-95 mask for health purposes.

Although The City has maintained the building and addressed serious safety concerns, in recent months, building deterioration has accelerated. Potential roof collapse and dangerous electrical incidents are considered imminent. 

The facility is no longer safe for inhabitants and its repair is not functionally or financially feasible. 

Why isn’t The City investing in repairing the building?

The decision to decommission a building is based on key factors including health and safety for occupants, lifecycle considerations, current building condition, the facility’s ability to meet its purpose, and the required investment.

A substantial investment is required for the building to be safe and sustainable for long-term use.

Further, through processes outlined in the Education Act and the Joint Use and Planning Agreement, other school boards who are part of the Joint Use and Planning Agreement were given the opportunity to express their interest in the facility before the CBE declared it surplus and closed it. The facility is no longer meeting its intended purpose in the community and it is at the point in its lifecycle that demolition is considered the optimal solution. 

What about the playgrounds?

Asset condition assessments have revealed that both playgrounds on the Kingsland School property are nearing the end of their lifecycle in terms of structural stability and will be removed at the time of building demolition. 

At this time, it’s not yet known whether playgrounds will be a part of the future use of this property; a variety of feasible options will be considered. For the time being, infrastructure such as sanitary and water utility lines near the playground will be preserved and capped in the event an inclusive playground may be constructed there in the future.
 
We are committed to keeping the community informed on the progress and possibilities of this site. 

What about the green space?

The existing green space – including ball diamonds and soccer fields – will remain. The City will continue to provide snow and ice control, mowing and tree care on the site. 

After the school has been demolished, what will happen to the land where the building currently stands?

Future use for this property has not been established, however The City will consider a variety of feasible options for this designated Municipal and School Reserve land. This type of Reserve land is typically used for schools, public parks, sports fields, or for other public recreation purposes. (Note that the Calgary Board of Education has indicated that educational requirements are being met by other nearby CBE schools and it does not intend to build another school here). 

What is Municipal and School Reserve?

Lands designated as municipal reserve are typically used for public parks, sports fields, or for other public recreation purposes. As the name implies, school reserves are lands set aside for use by public school authorities for school facilities.

Does the land have designations under The City’s Land Use Bylaw?

The land is designated “Special Purpose – School, park and community reserve” (S-SPR) under The City’s Land Use Bylaw 1P2007. Certain permitted and discretionary uses apply and cannot conflict with the uses allowed by the Municipal Reserve status. Should the land be redeveloped for uses neither permitted nor discretionary under S-SPR, it must be redesignated to an appropriate Land Use district. 

Why isn’t another school being built there?

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) closed the school in 2007 and the educational requirements for students living in the Kingsland community have been met by other nearby CBE schools. Student projections indicate that these schools will continue to have capacity to accommodate Kingsland community students well into the future.

The CBE has no operational use for the school. Through processes outlined in the Education Act and the Joint Use and Planning Agreement, other school boards who are part of the Joint Use and Planning Agreement were given the opportunity to express their interest in the facility before the CBE declared it surplus.

Further questions about schooling, school closures, or future schools should be directed to the Calgary Board of Education. 

Demolition FAQs

When does demolition start and when is it expected to be complete?

Work will begin at the end of September 2023 with completion targeted for spring 2024.

The first two to three months will be mainly focused on hazardous material abatement inside the school, with the majority of external demolition work scheduled to follow. Building and playground demolition is targeted to be complete by early 2024.

In 2024, as weather permits, the land will be returned to green space and will be graded, top soiled and hydro seeded. 

What hours and days of the week will work be taking place?

Until facility demolition is complete, workers will be onsite from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sundays. Landscape work in 2024 will take place weather permitting. 

What are people going to see on the site?

The first two to three months will be focused on hazardous material abatement which will mainly be contained inside the school. Approximately 10-15 workers will be accessing the facility.

Exterior demolition activities will follow. Excavators, load trucks, and workers will be visible on the worksite until building demolition is complete. 

What safety measures will be in place to ensure the safety of passersby and surrounding residents?

The safety of workers and the community is always a top priority for all City projects. This site will be fenced off around the perimeter with warning signs fastened to the fence. Any time large trucks or equipment are accessing/egressing from site, flag people will be present to direct traffic and ensure safe movement.

Is there any risk to passersby or surrounding residents in terms of the removal of hazardous building materials?

All hazardous materials will be removed following stringent Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) regulations. Air monitoring will be in place to ensure that there is no risk to the public.

What is the expected noise level? Is this going to be loud for the people in nearby homes?

The project team recognizes its responsibility to be respectful to area residents. While in operation, construction machinery and trucks will be heard onsite, and all work will adhere to Calgary’s noise bylaws

Will there be lighting on the demolition site? If so, will it be left on all night?

Lighting will be onsite in the winter months for the beginning of work shift and the end of work shift. It will not be left on at night.

Will the demolition work cause dust? How will dust control be managed?

Dust will be mitigated using water mist.  

Will demolition work pause in instances of extreme cold weather?

Yes, demolition work will pause when temperatures fall below -25 Celsius.

How will vehicle egress be managed onsite?

All site access and egress will be through the existing parking lot on 5 Street SW. Construction traffic will leverage 75 Avenue SW via MacLeod Trail to access the site.

Will the adjoining roads become dirty with site debris? How will street cleaning be managed?

It is not the intention to have any site debris migrate onto the surrounding roads.  Adjacent streets will be monitored at all times, and if cleaning is required, a skid steer with a sweeper will be onsite to clean up promptly. 

Will any building materials be recycled?

All building materials including metals, masonry, concrete, and asphalt will be recycled to the fullest extent possible, within reason.

Will there be an impact to existing trees onsite?

Existing trees on site will be protected in accordance with the City of Calgary tree protection plan.

What will the site look like once demolition is complete?

Once building demolition is complete, the land will be returned to green space and will be graded, top soiled and hydro seeded.


This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​

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