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Composite High School gets $29-million renovation and possible name change

Last Updated Sep 19, 2017 at 5:06 pm MST

PHOTO. Supplied. Fort McMurray Composite High School is getting renovations to modernize the building.

Big changes are coming to Fort McMurray Composite High School.  The school was built in September 1974 with students attending classes in January 1977, and has looked the same ever since.  In 2016 major renovations begun to the school as it is being “modernized.”  Windows are being added bringing natural into classrooms, hang out spaces are being created for students and fresh paint is breathing new life into the building.

Earlier this year the Minister of Education, David Eggen got a tour of the school.

“I think schools are not just a place where kids get an education but they are centers for community as well,” said Eggen. “Having the school modernized will be a source of pride and something people can use in the city of Fort McMurray for generations to come.”

Along with the modernization, the Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) has launched a community survey, looking for input on a possible name change to the high school.

Principal Kevin Bergen is in support of a name change.

“Fort McMurray Composite High School was named during an era when schools that served multiple catchment areas and offered trades programs were called ‘composite’ schools,” said Bergen.  “While we still offer quality trades programs in the city, there is much more to Composite High School than just the trades.”

PHOTO. Minister of Education, David Eggen and Principal Bergen standing in Composite High Schools new foyer. Melanie Walsh. AFTERNOON NEWS ANCHOR.


Composite High has changed in many ways over the years; they are now a junior-senior high school and no longer serve students from both districts.

“We want to bring a different awareness to the Fort McMurray community about our school.  We want to honour the past, but communicate that we have a new school culture based on strong academics, excellent teaching, responsible student conduct, and great partnerships in the community,” said Bergen.

The FMPSD is looking for a new name that will reflect the schools future and honour the past like Mr. Bergen mention.  The “miners” mascot and name will be stay the same

Considerations for the new name would need to have significance or recognize the contribution to education by an employee, resident or family associated with the local community.  Other ideas could stem from identifying the community, honouring the memory of a famous Albertan, reflect a Canadian geographic or historic location or an environmental landscape, represent culture and/or beliefs of part or all of the community that would create distinct identity relative to other names of other facilities in the District.

The final name will be selected by the Naming Advisory Committee and a recommendation will be presented to the Board of Trustees for consideration and approval.

The deadline for nomination submission is Oct. 6, 2017.  Nominations could be made online through the community survey.  

The selected name will be announced at the Public Meeting of the Board of Trustees on Nov. 29, 2017.