Momentum continues to build towards the opening of the new Holy Spirit Catholic School in the Fireside community.

Construction is nearing completion and school principal Kim Welte is hopefully they'll be able to start setting up shop in June in preparation for a fall opening.

Located on the northwest corner of Fireside Pwy. and Fireside Dr., it will initially open as a K to 6 school. It was built as a K-9 and can accommodate up to 800 students. Everything inside will be brand new, and it incorporates updated educational technology. 

"It's a phenomenal school, and I'm overwhelmed at how beautiful it is," says Welte. "At the entrance, there's this stunning woodwork that's sort of angled, almost like a pergola. I'm amazed by it."

Holy Spirit new logo

While the name will remain the same, there's been a major redesign of its logo that now includes the Stoney Nakoda words for Holy Spirit.

"Our logo has had a huge consultation process since November," says Welte. "We worked with our staff, then we worked with our community for input, and then we had an evening with our Indigenous elders from Stoney-Nakoda, so we have quite a beautiful logo."

It incorporates yellow, red, black, and white of the dove to represent the colour of the people of the world. The Stoney Nakoda colours of yellow, green, blue, and white are highlighted in an outline of the mountains visible from the Fireside community.

"It's about building relationships," she explains. "We wanted to make sure we include not only our Cochrane community but our Stoney Nakoda families. That's part of Truth and Reconciliation, and making sure we are listening, hearing, and trying to understand to make the future better for all kids."

She says a new vision and mission statement won't be completed until the end of the current school year, or perhaps even after the school opens in the fall.

"It's going to be different than it has been before, but, of course, always with our Catholic faith at the centre of everything we do."

Assisting with the opening of a new school isn't new to Welte. She was an assistant principal with the St. Basil Elementary Jr. High School when it opened in Calgary's Tuscany community. She is new to Holy Spirit School this year and has been a principal for 10 years.  

The school is now preparing to introduce itself, and its students, to the Fireside community. On Apr. 12, students and staff will be delivering Easter cards throughout Fireside. That same day, a giant red heart and a blue cross will be formed by the students on the school's field for a drone photograph. For many students, it will be their first time seeing what the new school looks like.

"We want to be part of the Fireside community, and it's a way of letting them know we are coming."

The school traditionally delivers Christmas cards in their current East Cochranbe neighbourhood.

There's also a farewell to the old school being held in June.

"We're hoping the community will come out, especially if you were a student or staff or parent at the school. People will come by and see this building as Holy Spirit for the last time."

The current Holy Spirit School is located on 1st St. E. and is being leased from the Rocky View School Division. It's been a catholic school for about 27 years and before that was the Andrew Sibbald School.

Those interested in receiving a registration package from the school can email Inquiries are welcomed from both Catholics and non-Catholics.

New Holy Spirit under constructionThe new Holy Spirit Catholic School is expected to initially open as a K to 6 school in the fall. It was built as a K-9 and can accommodate 800 students.