CORNER BROOK — Contractors have until Feb. 18 to submit a bid on the project to redevelop the old Regina High School into a junior high facility.
Ross Elliott, director of education with the Western School District, said with the invitation to tender now out the project is on track to be completed by September 2014.
About 700 students will then move into the facility, which will be the city’s only junior high school.
Elliott said the board has no concerns with accommodating that number of students once the school is completed.
“The space is going to be very adequate,” said Elliott. “Just to draw a contrast, the current building that we have there now, with those two temporary classrooms, once had nearly 1,100 high school students.”
Elliott was referring to when the school housed all the city’s high school students during reconstruction of Corner Brook Regional High.
“Now we’re talking about 700 junior high students with actually a bit more instructional space.”
The invitation to tender on the project was advertised in The Western Star by the Department of Transportation and Works on Jan. 26.
Elliott said plans and specifications on the work to be done include the construction of a new gymnasium and renovations to the existing gym to accommodate a music room, multi-purpose room and other instructional space.
The rest of the school will also be refurbished. The two temporary classrooms, put in place while the school housed all the city’s high school students, will be removed.
While construction won’t disrupt student learning, Elliott said the gymnasium at the school will no longer be available for use by Presentation Junior High or adult community groups once construction starts.
The project has been estimated to cost about $13 million, but Elliott said the actual cost won’t be known until the tender is awarded.
He noted the board has had a lot of support from the province, the city and the Roman Catholic Church in advancing the project. The work is taking place on land that is owned by the RC episcopal corporation and the church has an interest in part of the current building.
The new school is also situated near some city-owned recreation facilities which Elliott said will be of great advantage to the school.
Once this project is completed the board will move ahead with re-organizing the city’s elementary school system. The current five-school system will be reduced to three.
As for changes outside the city, Elliott said there are no immediate plans to include students from nearby St. Peter’s Academy in Benoit’s Cove in the re-organization.