Centennial School Fire in Wetaskiwin Update

School won’t be ready by Jan. 6 because of safety concerns

As you are aware, there was a fire at Centennial School that started in the early hours of December 9, 2019. It was a small electrical fire that started in classroom eight (8). Classroom eight, grade 4-5N, was severely damaged and the remainder of the school was affected by smoke except for the portable classrooms. The portable classrooms are separated by an exterior wall and they are on a separate ventilation system.

Our preliminary information was that students and staff could possibly return to Centennial School on January 6, 2020. Unfortunately, upon further investigation by remediation experts it was determined that the situation is complicated by the presence of asbestos in the drywall joint compound and in the suspended ceiling tiles. This means that the remediation work will involve the disturbance of building finishes and must be undertaken following High Risk Asbestos Abatement Procedures. This will slow down the necessary remediation work.

Classroom eight will require complete gutting and restoration. The remainder of the school will require remediation to deal with the smoke damage. All of this work must be undertaken in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Asbestos Guidelines.

Centennial School will not be ready for the return of students and staff by January 6, 2020. Therefore, in consultation with the Principal and Division administration it was decided that the K to 3 Centennial School students will be relocated to Clear Vista School. The Grades 4 to 8 Centennial School students will be relocated to the C.B. McMurdo Centre. Both facilities are adjacent to each other which will minimize the disruption to the transportation of students.

We are currently working on ordering student and staff materials and supplies. We are also addressing the transportation of students who normally walk to Centennial School to their relocation sites.

-Submitted by Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools

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