Millions in renos
Summertime is construction time in area schools
When the all the students leave school for the summer, the buildings are often not empty for very long.
Children are quickly replaced by contractors who use the students’ absence to do repairs, upgrades and renovations. It’s an ambitious amount of work that needs to be done within the brief threemonth window that summer vacation provides.
The English public and Catholic school boards are spending millions of dollars on their buildings in and around Cornwall this summer.
At the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, much of the focus is going towards renovations for schools accepting students from those that have been closed such as Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception and St. Columban’s.
“We do have a lot going on in Cornwall because of the pupil accommodation review there,” said Bonnie Norton, superintendent. “Kids are being moved around, so there is lots of stuff happening.”
The biggest project as a result of the school closures is the conversion of the former General Vanier / TR Leger side of the St. Joseph Secondary School complex into the next Sacred Heart.
“We’ve got a huge project going on there to add kindergarten rooms, because it will accommodate JK to Grade 6. The students from St. Columban’s and the old Sacred Heart will be consolidated at that location,” explained Norton. “There’s about $2.2-million worth of work that’s happening there.”
At St. Joe’s Secondary School itself, the hospitality suite is getting a major upgrade, which will include a brand new kitchen for the culinary lessons.
At Bishop Macdonell Catholic School, there are some basic upgrades going on such as replacement of floor tiles and painting. Saint Peter’s School is having new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units installed there this summer.
Over at the Upper Canada District School Board, it is spending about $20 million across its vast district on renovations and upgrades to its facilities, although not many of them are happening inside Cornwall itself.
Laggan Public School located northeast of Cornwall is repaving the play area around the school.
“I’m referring to the area where kids will participate in games like foursquare and play basketball,” said Stephen Sliwa, director of education. Longue Sault Public School is also getting its own play area resurfaced as well.
Char-Lan District High School in Williamstown is getting a new running track.
“They are reconditioning the track and field area, which is a pretty significant commitment. I think it will be very well received by the students there,” said Silwa.
Progress continues to be made on the planned expansion to Roxmore Public School, with school board trustees getting an update on the plans back in May. An expansion and renovation to the school will get underway likely later this year to accommodate the students from North Stormont Public School just outside Berwick. That school is scheduled to close in June 2019.
“It’s still on track for the anticipated 2020 opening,” confirmed Silwa.
Contractors are hard at work at the General Vanier building to covert it into the new amalgamated Catholic elementary school.