Construction delays likely to affect Prince Rupert students this winter

Setbacks in construction projects in the Prince Rupert School District are likely to impact students as the winter approaches.

Setbacks in two construction projects underway in the Prince Rupert School District are likely to impact students as the winter approaches.

Cam McIntyre, secretary-treasurer of the Prince Rupert School District, said the conclusion of both the building envelope project and music studio at Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) are behind schedule, with the effects on students and the district’s pocketbook left to be seen.

While the building envelope project is substantially complete, McIntyre said there are some aspects that need to be finished.

One of the areas of deficiency for Yellowridge Construction is finishing off is the auto shop at CHSS. Currently high school students taking auto class have to use the shop space at Prince Rupert Middle School (PRMS). When the auto shop is complete, the district will move the equipment from PRMS’ shop into the new space, opening up the middle school spot for the Industrial Electrical Foundation Program, which is scheduled to start in February.

Once the equipment is moved, the space at PRMS needs to be cleaned and prepped for the electrical course. The setback is impacting those preparations, with McIntyre saying auto shop students are likely to feel the hindrance.

“I’m sure we’ll have the electrical program ready. The implication may be in what we do with the students currently in auto shop. At some point we’ll have to move them out, and won’t have much of a space for them to work in other than a classroom, which limits [their learning],” he said.

The CHSS music studio is also behind schedule, originally set to be complete in July by contractor Eby and Sons Construction. The new expected completion date is in late November.

The lag has meant a continued annoyance for students travelling between schools for band.

“It’s not convenient for students to make that long trek in winter when they should have a room at the school,” McIntyre said, adding while the district would like to have the music studio ready, it understands the delay.

“We certainly are of the view that if they had more man power on the job, it would of course be moving forward quicker,” he said, adding Eby and Sons have a variety of other jobs happening they must also work on.

“It’s tough. There’s a limited amount of people sometimes. It just depends on how much work is out there.”

The setbacks have meant out of pocket costs for the school district for the engineers who contracted the construction companies.

“We will be having conversations with both the contractors about them starting to pick up those additional costs of the engineers still being at work. Whether we will be successful in that or not [is left to be seen],” McIntyre said, adding the district will work with its consulting engineers to ensure work is done soon.