Mil­lions in renos

Sum­mer­time is con­struc­tion time in area schools

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - NEWS - ALAN S. HALE ahale@post­media.com twit­ter.com/Alan_S_Hale

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.

ALAN S. HALE/CORN­WALL STAN­DARD-FREE­HOLDER

Con­trac­tors are hard at work at the Gen­eral Vanier build­ing to covert it into the new amal­ga­mated Catholic ele­men­tary school.

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