Canada schools ‘fail to attract interest'

Fears have arisen over the delivery of 19 new schools in Alberta through P3 due to an apparent lack of interest from the private sector.

Nineteen new schools have been targeted by the province to be delivered within the next three years, but officials have revealed only one consortium – Calgary’s Gracorp Capital and Graham Construction – have submitted interest.

Officials at Alberta Infrastructure warned school boards two weeks ago of potential delays in the construction of badly needed spaces for students while they reconsider how to select who will build the facilities.

"There’s a limited number of contractors and they’re already busy with private sector and other government work," department spokesman Tracey Larsen said in an interview.
"We’re looking now at the options we have and we’re still hoping to have those schools open by 2016."

Among the schools the province wants built under the P3 model are eight facilities for elementary or junior high age students in Calgary, and two more in nearby communities.

The schools are being built under a design, build, finance and maintain model and the programme is part of Premier of Alberta Alison Redford’s pledge in the last election to spend $2.4bn to build 50 schools and modernize another 70.