FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – School District #60 says that site preparation work has begun on a new elementary school on the northeast side of Fort St. John, less than two months after the provincial government announced funding for the project.
SD60 Superintendent Dave Sloan said that construction crews began preparation work at the site of the new school, which is located across 112th Avenue from the Fort St. John Hospital, less than a week ago.
The School District posted photos of the construction work on its Facebook page on Sunday.
Sloan said that crews have been levelling out the property and preparing it for construction to begin on the new school’s foundation, with the goal of having the first concrete poured before the ground hardens up later in the fall.
He explained that initial work has been proceeding at a faster pace than on the new Margaret ‘Ma’ Murray School on the City’s west side due to a number of factors, including better preparedness and different geological properties of the site.
“We weren’t sure when we were going to get approval, so we had the plan on the shelf. I wouldn’t say this is ahead of the game, but this is our new reality in terms of making sure that we construct to schedule. ‘Make hay while the sun shines’ is the expression, and we had enough interesting experiences with weather on the ‘Ma’ Murray site that once we got the go-ahead we had the plan on the shelf for how to prep the site.”
Sloan said that the land for the new school differs in several aspects from that of ‘Ma’ Murray including in ground slope and composition, which makes it easier to prepare for laying the building’s foundation.
The provincial government announced on June 28th that it is providing up to $30.8 million to build the school, while the School District will contribute $300,000. Full-scale construction is set to begin next summer, with the school scheduled to open in fall 2021, with 505 spaces for students in Kindergarten through Grade 6.