Published: September 20, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Upgrades for a regional public school are being fast-tracked after members of the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board voted to approve the Ear Falls Public School Renovation Project.
Meeting via teleconference on Sept. 12 members reviewed a report on the infrastructure project that originally indicated the completion date of the renovation was slated for 2021 under the Board’s Long-term Capital Plan 2015-2025. The plan notes the $4.36 million renovation project is the second capital priority.
Board members voted last week in favour of using the School Condition Improvement capital funding budget to advance the timetable on the project.
“I am very pleased that the Board is proceeding with this long-anticipated capital project that will take Ear Falls Public School from an era when it was built in 1970, and bring the learning environment for kids into ever-changing 21st Century,” said Director of Education Sean Monteith after the meeting. “This is a great day for EFPS and the people of Ear Falls.”
The planning and engineering phase of the project is expected to get underway this month starting with a consultation process to assist in the planned retrofit and restructure of the internal layout says Monteith.
The school’s current structure was established in the 1970s and includes an open classroom concept that has been managed with temporary walls that has led to some classes not having natural light. He says the project will look at classroom and office design as well as heating, lighting and air conditioning for the aged building.
Construction is expected to begin in September 2018 disrupting the 2018/19 school year. Portables will be brought in for students during this phase of the project. Monteith called the transition year necessary to provide future students with an optimal learning environment.
“I know this is going to be short-term pain for long-term gain.”
Proposed timelines for the Ear Falls Public School Renovation includes:
September 2017 – Information gathering to assess needs of school and facility
October 2017 – Consultant award to bridge with schematic design phase
May 2018 – Working drawings and tendering phase
September 2018 – Construction start
September 2019 – Project completion