Frank H. Mac­Don­ald stu­dents start­ing school else­where

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY -

Stu­dents of Frank H. Mac­Don­ald El­e­men­tary School will be start­ing their 2018-19 school year in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion.

The Chignecto-Cen­tral Re­gional Cen­tre for Ed­u­ca­tion said a re­cent as­sess­ment of Frank H Mac­Don­ald has turned up a struc­tural is­sue that needs to be re­paired be­fore stu­dents and staff can re­turn to the build­ing.

Stu­dents are ex­pected to re­turn to school on Sept. 6.

As a re­sult, the pri­mary and Grade 4 stu­dents at F.H. Mac­Don­ald will re­lo­cate next door to East Pic­tou Mid­dle School so the re­pairs, along with fur­ther ren­o­va­tions at the school, can be done. The pre-pri­mary class sched­uled to open its doors in Septem­ber will re­lo­cate to Thor­burn Con­sol­i­dated.

Jen­nifer Rodgers, com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for the CCRCE, said dur­ing the ma­jor ren­o­va­tions project at Frank H. Mac­Don­ald, it was dis­cov­ered the ex­te­rior wall sys­tem is not braced to the build­ing struc­ture on the sec­ond floor and roof level. Dur­ing a se­vere weather event, the wall in­tegrity may have been com­prised.

The work will in­clude an­chor­ing the con­crete ma­sonry ex­te­rior walls to the steel struc­ture of the build­ing. The Depart­ment of Transportation and In­fra­struc­ture and Re­newal is manag­ing the ren­o­va­tions. Sim­i­larly, at Dr. WA MacLeod, a struc­tural is­sue with the wall sys­tem was dis­cov­ered. Fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed the in­te­rior con­crete block wall also is not braced suf­fi­ciently to the build­ing struc­ture on the sec­ond floor and roof level.

Re­pairs are adding ad­di­tional an­chors from the con­crete wall to the build­ing’s steel struc­tural com­po­nents. The CCRCE is lead­ing the re­pairs.

“While we rec­og­nize this is dis­rup­tive for teach­ers, staff, stu­dents and par­ents, we must err on the side of cau­tion and con­duct nec­es­sary re­pairs while the build­ing is empty. Our stu­dents and staff’s safety must al­ways be our top pri­or­ity,” said Chris Boul­ter, sys­tem de­vel­op­ment su­per­vi­sor for CCRCE. “We have a con­tin­gency plan in place to en­sure we can sup­port our stu­dents, par­ents and staff so they can have smooth tran­si­tion for the start of the 2018/2019 school year. We deeply ap­pre­ci­ate our school com­mu­nity’s pa­tience as we move for­ward with these changes.”

Par­ents and guardians can ac­cess up-to-date in­for­ma­tion on the CCRCE web­site as de­tails are con­firmed. An open house ses­sion is be­ing planned for all stu­dents and fam­i­lies re­lo­ca­tion to al­low for school and transportation ques­tions, as well as a tour for the new lo­ca­tion.

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