Construction on the New Westminster Secondary School replacement project could begin as soon as the end of March, according to school district officials.
With construction on the new high school expected to be complete by May 2020 and an opening planned for September 2020, at this point everything seems to be on track, according to associate superintendent Karim Hachlaf.
“Currently, the contractor is in a series of meetings that are ongoing with the city in regards to permitting. So we’re actively engaged in that process and that is going smoothly and, again, according to timeline,” he told the Record.
The next step in the project is to put up fencing at the site and relocate some of the existing parking. From there, additional geotechnical work will be conducted before shovels hit the ground in the spring, Hachlaf added.
“It’s going according to plan. No delays at this point. We’re on track for our construction schedule,” he said.
In December, the board of education announced it had chosen Graham Design-Builders with KMBR Architects Planners Inc. to design and build the new New Westminster Secondary School. The $106.5-million project will accommodate 1,900 Grade 9 to 12 students once complete.
Phase 1 of the project is construction of the new school and includes teaching and learning spaces, visual and performing arts spaces, athletic facilities and administration space. Phase 2 includes the outdoor spaces and deconstruction of the existing high school.
“It’s such a huge project for our community, and we’re excited,” Hachlaf said.
He said the goal is to have the new high school ready for staff and students by September 2020. Outdoor elements may or may not be complete by then, he added.
Once the new school opens, the district will go to work demolishing the old school and completing surrounding landscaping and the memorialization area.
The second round of consultation starts Feb. 15 (today). Folks will have until March 15 to provide feedback on topics such as outdoor spaces, pedestrian and cyclist access and amenities, and student pick-up and drop-off areas.
The first open house of round-two consultation is planned for Thursday, March 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gym at Fraser River Middle School, 800 Queens Ave.
To download the discussion guide and for more details on open houses, go to newnwss.ca.