School District 28 closed the tender on the demolition of the old Quesnel Junior School site on Callanan Street last week, and work is expected to begin soon. Observer file photo

Contract for old QJS demolition expected this week

SD28 secretary-treasurer expects work on the old school site will begin soon

Meetings with the architects who will build the new Quesnel Junior School site were taking place this week, as plans for the new school continue moving forward.

During the School District 28 board of education meeting Wednesday, Nov. 13, secretary-treasurer Jennifer Woollends explained that the architects, CHP Architects, have been up for a meeting, and they met with school board members Wednesday.

“That went well,” she said.

The architects were also to have meetings with Quesnel Junior School staff and with stakeholders Thursday, Nov. 14.

The new school, which will be built at the site of the current Maple Drive Junior Secondary School on Mountain Ash Road, will be two storeys and will have room for 550 Grade 8 and 9 students. Construction is expected to be finished in time for students to start at the new school in September 2022.

The provincial government is providing up to $52.2 million, and School District 28 is contributing $150,000 towards the project, which includes the addition of a new neighbourhood learning centre that will provide child care and other local community programming.

Plans are also moving forward for the demolition of the old Quesnel Junior School on Callanan Street in North Quesnel.

Woollends says they closed the tender last week. The school district received seven bids, which Woollends says were all well within the range of the demolition budget, and they wrote up a letter of intent Nov. 12.

“Our consultants will be awarding that this week, so the construction should start on that soon,” she told the board.

At last month’s board meeting, Woollends explained that the demolition will be as “green” as possible, as the contractors will try to salvage as much as possible from the old school building and recycle, re-use and re-sell it where they can.

Last month, Quesnel city council also agreed to waive the disposal fee for School District 28 for the removal of concrete during the demolition, as long as the school district agrees to remove all rebar, grind the concrete to a size specified by the City and then have the material hauled to the landfill, at no cost to the City.

Matt Thomas, the City’s director of public works operations, explained that the City has identified a large amount of concrete at the site, which has a value to the operations at the landfill.

The Landfill Strategic Plan, which focuses on extending the life of the landfill, has identified that a berm will need to be constructed at the landfill, and Thomas says this concrete could be used for this berm.

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