RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL
After years of strategic planning, and more recently, two years of late nights and tireless work by our Board of Directors, Head of School and Senior Leadership Team, we have exciting news to share. Following a lengthy due diligence process, we have signed the final documents to complete the purchase of our current school site at 3127 Bowwood Drive NW.
With boundless gratitude and excitement, we would like to acknowledge this important achievement that would not have been possible without the tremendous generosity of current and alumni donor families who made our dream a reality.
Creating an exciting place of exploration, creativity, collaboration and discovery that not only strengthens the spirit of RVS, but enhances the overall experience amongst students, parents, staff, and alumni.
In education, the learning environment is often referred to as “the third teacher” after teachers and family. Certainly, we know that an effective, supportive, inviting, and inspiring learning environment fosters and enhances learning, learner success, pride, and confidence.
We also know that a modern education requires leading-edge facilities, technology, and equipment to prepare students for their fast-paced, ever-changing, and global 21st century lives.
River Valley School is currently working with an experienced architect to begin the process of making the building our own. We are considering an expansion of the gymnasium, improved our signage, modernizing the exterior appearance of the building and further enhancing our educational spaces.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is included in this purchase?
- Our current 40,651 sq ft school campus, situated on 4.46 acres of beautiful riverfront land.
- The neighbouring 11,096 sq ft surgical centre, which will provide consistent rental income for the next 5 or more years, as well as potential space for future expansion.
- We are thrilled to continue our twenty year relationship with Surgical Centres Inc. as they will be leasing back the surgical building.
What does this mean for my child?
- By transitioning from rented to owned premises we will gain more control over our own destiny and have the ability to invest more deeply into what matters most – our students.
- With full control over our facilities, we will have the ability to expand our academic offerings, transform our learning spaces and enhance areas of programming such as resource and learning support, physical and outdoor education, visual arts, music, athletics, and co-curricular clubs.
- This purchase will support our continuous pursuit of attracting and retaining the highest quality educators and staff, which will directly impact student success, as teachers hold the key to unlocking each student’s true potential.
Why are we purchasing our current campus vs. moving to a new space?
With guidance and consultation from experienced real estate, architectural and investment professionals, and based on our pedagogical considerations for teaching and learning, we have discovered the true potential that this exceptional campus on the Bow holds.
- We will continue to have access to the unparalleled riverside green spaces that provide extrodinary opportunities for learning in a natural environment, as well as the perfect setting for our outdoor education program.
- Remaining in our facility will mean no disruption to our current families’ routines or commutes.
- Being one of only a few independent schools in the heart of the NW, our location provides us with a competitive edge with access to many young, growing communities in this part of the city.
- Our now permanent home on Bowwood Drive will allow us to enhance our partnerships with local neighbours, businesses and organizations, and develop new ones as our roots continue to take hold in the community.
- The opportunity to purchase the existing building, as well as the surgical centre building, was a compelling investment decision that establishes greater financial stability for the school, now and into the future.
What improvement plans does the school have for the building?
Full ownership will allow us to envision and develop beautifully renovated and rejuvenated spaces in our school that align with our mission, vision and values and provide enriched teaching and learning opportunities. We are currently working with an experienced team of architects and designers, along with our staff, to create improvement plans for:
- Refreshing and modernizing the building’s exterior
- Developing a new, larger gymnasium
- Enhancing the school’s landscaping and outdoor educational spaces
- Expanding our athletic fields
- Revitalizing classroom spaces
How is the school going to pay for it?
This exciting project is being funded by a combination of fiscally responsible use of some of our cash reserves, traditional mortgage-based financing, early donations from current and alumni families, and a fundraising campaign for capital improvements.
Will the purchase of the building cause tuition to go up?
Any increase in tuition will be unrelated to the purchase of our building, but rather reflective of increasing operating costs and budgetary considerations. Tuition funds pay for operations, not capital or major equipment.
Does this mean you will extend programming into junior high?
One of the strategies outlined in River Valley School’s strategic plan (2016-2021) was to investigate the feasibility of continuing RVS programming into grades 7-9. This strategy will be reassessed within the context of a school-owned facility, as there will be a number of different factors to consider. At this time, however, there is no current plan to expand the school’s grade range.
Will the purchase of the building impact class size?
The purchase of the building will have no impact on class size. Our goal as a school is always to personalize the learning experience for each of our students, and we know that small classes and low teacher to student ratios are integral to that endeavour. Our small class sizes facilitate a relationship-based approach to teaching and learning that ensures all students are genuinely known and supported in achieving their very highest potential.
What about the risk of flooding?
During the due diligence phase of the Bowwood Drive purchase, the Board of Directors worked with a team of hydrotechnical consultants and experts from the City of Calgary on the completion of a Flood Mitigation Report. This report was approved by the risk assessment team of the school’s lenders. To prepare for future major flood events, the school will continue to work with the consultants on a flood design plan specific to the school’s property. The City has included the property within the City’s emergency flood response plan, to receive mitigation measures should a flood event occur.
Making our Vision a Reality
This momentous accomplishment comes with a commitment to important and transformative work ahead. With a school-owned facility finally secured, we now have the opportunity to make it our own; to improve upon and expand this amazing campus on the Bow. With the support of our community, we know that the possibilities are endless and the future of River Valley School is very bright.
We believe RVS has a unique and vital role to play in educating young people and setting them on their lifelong learning journeys. We hope that you will partner with us to maximize the success of our students today, tomorrow and in years to come