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Catholic board gets update on new school build

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The Northwest Catholic District School Board held its first meeting of the 2017-18 school year on Saturday at its office in Dryden.

On the agenda was an update on the new school build project for the consolidation of St. Michael's and St. Francis schools into a single JK-Grade 8 school on the St. Francis site.

In the update given by Superintendent of Business Seija Van Haesendonck, it was reported the design team from Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture Inc. continued to work on the design during the summer months, including electrical and mechanical systems.

The team also has been working closely with the cost consultant to develop the appropriate class estimates for the Ministry of Education of review and provide approval to move to construction tender in the fall.

TBT Engineering performed geotechnical investigation work from June 8-13, which determined the site soils are highly-compressible and that site preloading will be required.

The next step for the board in the construction process is to issue a preload tender, which also will include clearing and grubbing the site, as well as relocating a storm drain.

The approximate closing date for the tender process will be Sept. 22 as the preloading must be completed before the winter freeze to ensure the preload materials have the time to create the required compaction.

Due to these extraordinary site conditions, a request for additional funding has been submitted to the Ministry of Education.

The project is planned to be completed in time for the 2019-20 school year.

Also at Saturday's meeting, trustees:

  • saw a proposed floor plan, and got an idea of what the exterior of the new consolidated school could look like, during a presentation by architect Ian Hill;
  • heard Director of Education Brendan Hyatt's fall address outlining the 2017-2018 school year theme of “Renewing the Promise”;
  • received a summer, 2017 facilities projects update; and
  • listened to board reports on enrolment, staffing, newsletters, administrative procedure, purchasing computer equipment, and home schooling.
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