Demolition of the old Quesnel Junior School site on Callanan Street has begun, with hazardous materials being removed from the school. (Observer file photo)

Quesnel School District staff feeling very positive after meetings with QJS architects and subcontractors

A community open house for the new school’s design will likely be held at the end of February

The latest update about the Quesnel Junior School (QJS)replacement project is a very positive one.

During the Wednesday, Dec. 18 school board meeting, Quesnel School District secretary-treasurer Jennifer Woollends told board members that community meetings with the project’s architects, CHP, in November went very well, and stakeholders brought forward really good ideas for the new school, which will be built on the site of the current Maple Drive Junior Secondary School.

READ MORE: Architect firm chosen to build new Quesnel Junior School

“Particularly the engagement with the community, I thought, was really great to see, and everyone had really positive things to say and really wanted to have their comments heard, which is great,” Woollends told the board. “It was really great to see the students getting up and presenting. Since then, CHP consolidated those comments for us and sent them back to us, and our team looked at them, and where they could, they incorporated them into the school design. They feel they’ve been able to get a good majority of them into the school.”

School District operations manager Scott Thomson and QJS principal Suzanne Bolin attended meetings with the architects and the main subcontractors for the project Dec. 5 and 6 in Chilliwack, and Woollends reports “the meetings were very successful, and Scott and Suzanne are happy with the team we have in place and the progress that is being made.”

“The subcontractors all seemed really excited to work on our project, and they felt it was a really manageable and doable project,” said Woollends.

At the meetings, they discussed final revisions to the school layout, landscaping and outside layout and a final review of suggestions from the stakeholder meetings, and they had discussions with each subcontract regarding their areas, explained Woollends.

The new school 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.

Woollends told the board they are currently working on the final layouts, which she thought would be completed by the end of the week, and then they move onto the next phase, which is costing the project and starting to work on the blueprints. They will host an open house for the community to show the final schematic design, most likely at the end of February, although no date has been set yet.

As for the old Quesnel Junior School site on Callanan Street, Woollends told the board that demolition has begun, and Clearview Demolition has installed fence in various areas to secure a compound.

“They are working on the HAZMAT material, and they are making really good progress, and I think right now, they’re thinking they’re ahead of schedule on that part of the demolition, so that’s exciting,” said Woollends.

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