North York school to re­sume con­struc­tion

Fol­low­ing con­trac­tor woes and sig­nif­i­cant de­lays, Avon­dale P.S. to re­open in March by Amanda Brown

Bayview Post - - News -

Stu­dents of Avon­dale Pub­lic School and Avon­dale Al­ter­na­tive School were dis­ap­pointed back in Septem­ber to learn that ren­o­va­tions of their school would not be com­pleted in time for the 2018–2019 school year.

Con­struc­tion on Avon­dale P.S. be­gan in 2016 and was orig­i­nally slated to be com­pleted in Jan­uary 2018. How­ever, on­go­ing de­lays stalled the pro­jec­tion, and re­cent pop­u­la­tion growth in the area was cited, re­quir­ing an ad­di­tional storey to be added to the build­ing.

Vaughan-based Bond­field Con­struc­tion has es­tab­lished it­self as a builder of pub­licly funded and in­sti­tu­tional prop­er­ties, hav­ing built high-pro­file projects, like the Union Sta­tion re­vi­tal­iza­tion project, as well as uni­ver­sity and col­lege build­ings. How­ever, the com­pany has been un­der fire re­cently af­ter a Globe and Mail ar­ti­cle iden­ti­fied 12 Bond­field con­tracts that were se­verely de­layed or ter­mi­nated. The ar­ti­cle also re­vealed that many of the sub­con­trac­tors for these projects had not been paid, lead­ing to work stop­pages.

Like with many other projects, work on the Avon­dale site halted, fur­ther in­con­ve­nienc­ing the Avon­dale com­mu­nity.

“Ini­tially, when the word came to us that the work had stopped be­cause of a pay stop­page to the sub­con­trac­tors, I was taken by sur­prise,” lo­cal school trustee Alexan­der Brown said. “My un­der­stand­ing is the work is up and run­ning again, but I am not sure that it is 100 per cent up and run­ning.”

TDSB staff met with Bond­field and their bond­ing com­pany, Zurich In­vest­ments, in Oc­to­ber to dis­cuss the progress. Bond­field told the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) that ev­ery­one had been paid up to date, and that work would re­sume.

In a writ­ten state­ment to Post City, Ryan Bird, a spokesper­son for the TDSB also con­firmed that all out­stand­ing is­sues with Bond­field con­struc­tion have been re­solved.

“We have re­solved the out­stand­ing is­sues with the con­trac­tor and con­struc­tion has once again re­sumed. At this point in time, the com­ple­tion is still set for March 2019,” he wrote. De­spite these re­as­sur­ances, Brown is not con­vinced. “I do not have com­plete con­fi­dence in this, given the gen­eral con­trac­tor’s on­go­ing is­sues with many other projects that it is re­spon­si­ble for,” he said. “Not the best-case sce­nario given the frus­tra­tion that par­ents and mem­bers of the Avon­dale com­mu­nity have been deal­ing with.”

“I do not have com­plete con­fi­dence in this, given the on­go­ing is­sues.”

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