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What's up with demolition of the old NWSS? Here's the latest

Taking down the old New Westminster Secondary School will be a "very careful and controlled" demolition, says school district
NWSS from Eighth Street closeup
Plans are underway for the demolition of the old New Westminster Secondary School.

The old New Westminster Secondary School building is still standing sentinel along Eighth Street – but plenty of work is happening behind the scenes to get ready for its demolition.

“There’s been a significant amount of work that has taken place over the summer break,” Dave Crowe, the school district’s director of facilities, told school trustees at their Sept. 14 operations committee meeting.

Crowe noted work to date has been concentrating on the Massey Theatre portion of the building. The Massey, the adjoining Plaskett Gallery and surrounding classrooms are remaining as a stand-alone arts facility following the demolition of the old school. Crews are working on new utilities connections for that building now, Crowe said.

Crowe said work was “slower than we probably would have liked” over the summer but did continue.

“Our pace is picking up now as we move into the new school year, so we’re still on target for completion of that,” he said.

Part of the ongoing work also includes focusing on all the requirements of the demolition permit – such as an arborist’s report and plans for pest control management and stormwater management.

The school district is hoping to have a request for qualifications for a contractor out in October and then secure a contractor in November.

Crowe said the deconstruction of the old school will take “a little longer” than a typical demolition project.

“It’s a very complex building, as you know, and we’re taking it down to the foundations only,” Crowe said. “It has to be a very careful and controlled demolition.”

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