School is almost back in session and students and teachers at one local school division can expect to see a few changes and upgrades to their hallowed halls upon their return and into the school year.
Wetaskiwin Composite High School (WCHS) will see a number of major changes in its future as Edmonton-based Filmore Construction was recently awarded tender for the school’s modernization project and a site kickoff meeting was held Aug. 19.
Bryan Rabel, Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools director of plant facilities, says the project will take place in stages and will commence with the partial demolition and reconstruction of the school’s main east gymnasium.
The reconstruction will expand the gym via increased floor space and a higher ceiling, says Rabel.
The project is set to offer WCHS the option of a larger east gymnasium or two smaller gym spaces created with a center dividing wall.
“Our west gym will be equipped with a folding sound partition wall enabling music and drama to co-exist on either side of the wall while creating the opportunity for a larger space for either program by opening the partition wall. Other programs within the existing facility will be relocated to create synergies and efficiencies within programs,” said Rabel.
Another priority coinciding with the gymnasium modernization is the replacement of aging mechanical and electrical systems. These new systems are set to offer a lifespan of 25 to 30 years.
“System replacements will include fire alarm, sprinkler, communication, ventilation and heating systems and building envelope upgrades such as new windows and overhead shop door installs,” said Rabel.
Many other schools around the division saw a number of smaller upgrades over the summer months.
Alder Flats Elementary School was subject to sidewalk removal and partial gymnasium roofing upgrades. A computer lab was also converted into a classroom.
Buck Mountain Central School also had a sidewalk removed and replaced and Pigeon Lake Regional School also saw roofing upgrades.
Centennial Elementary School in Wetaskiwin gained more office space following a classroom conversion. Gwynne School had an exterior stairway removed and exterior door hardware upgrades.
Other schools in Winfield, Lakedell, Falun, Millet, and Wetaskiwin also saw various upgrades and maintenance.
“I would be remiss if I suggested to you that we were the only ones working in our school and or school related sites over the summer school break. Our in-house custodial personnel are extremely diligent as they completely clean our schools from floor to ceiling and in everywhere in between so that our schools will be looking great for the startup of the 2015-16 school term,” said Rabel.