The bid to build long-overdue schools in the city got a big push today.
The New Westminster school district announced that Yellowridge Design Build Ltd. is its top pick in the request for proposal process, and it expects construction to begin in March 2013.
“We’re glad the process is moving along, and we are hoping we can come to an arrangement fairly quickly and start building in the new year,” board of education chair James Janzen said.
The district has been working on plans to build a new elementary, middle school and high school for well over a decade.
“I can tell you personally, it’s been a awfully long time, and I know a lot of people in the community feel that way too,” Janzen said.
The district is in negotiations and anticipates to finalize a agreement in December, said a district website update on the project.
The first phase of building involves constructing a new elementary school on the former St. Mary’s Hospital site. The school will be the site of John Robson Elementary. The current site of the elementary school will then house a middle school, once the old school is torn down.
Yellowridge has successfully completed several schools including: Yarrow Elementary School and Rosedale Elementary/Middle School in Chilliwack, Westview Elementary in Powell River and is completing Alberni District Secondary in Port Alberni, the website states.
The new elementary school at St. Mary’s will include five kindergarten rooms and 18 classrooms for students in grades one to five, as well as spaces for childcare, family support services and intergenerational multi-purpose space.
The school district evaluation team reviewed the proposals with input from the technical team of consultants that assisted with the development of the statement of requirements in the request for proposals. School staff and parents will get an opportunity to see the proposed design and provide input at a meeting on Nov. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the John Robson gym, prior to the contract being finalized, the website states.
The new school will be occupied for classes in September 2014, the website said.
As for the new middle school, the procurement process for selection of the design builder for the new middle school to be constructed on the John Robson site will begin in January 2013, according to the update.