Six Hamilton schools paused by pandemic

News Apr 20, 2020 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Ontario’s coronavirus emergency order, which excluded schools from the list of essential construction projects, is halting work on six new Hamilton public schools and planned upgrades to many more existing ones.

Stacey Zucker, associate director of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), said the decision to stop all school construction and renovations came after two legal opinions and the Ministry of Education agreed the emergency order doesn’t allow work to continue.

At this time, HWDSB staff isn’t concerned the construction pause will affect targeted opening dates for the five elementary schools and one high school the board is currently building, Zucker told trustees at their April 16 finance and facilities committee meeting.

The Nora Frances Henderson high school on the South Mountain, originally promised for September 2015, and Rockton Elementary School, which is replacing Beverly and Dr. John Seaton schools, are well underway and scheduled to open this September.

Spring Valley in Ancaster, the new Greensville and Memorial in Stoney Creek, and the Glen campus school in east Hamilton are targeted for January.

“We do feel right now that the openings are attainable,” Zucker said. “If the pause continues for an extended period of time, then we will have to change those timelines.”

Zucker said other projects facing potential delays include additions to Mount Albion and Collegiate Avenue schools in Stoney Creek, elevators at Ancaster and Sir Allan MacNab high schools, a new sports field at Saltfleet High School, and science labs at Glendale high.

But she said caretakers will still maintain schools as long as work meets exemptions in the emergency order.

“We are allowed to continue maintenance for safety reasons,” she said.

HWDSB chair Alex Johnstone said afterwards school communities affected by the construction pause will be informed shortly, with a more detailed update planned for May on whether projects are still on target.

Among the legal issues the board is exploring, if the order is extended, is: what are the effects on contractors' timeline obligations and their extra costs for revising subcontractor schedules and removing or securing heavy equipment and materials, she said.

“There’s a whole domino impact,” Johnstone said. “We want to plan for all scenarios so that we’re prepared for all scenarios.”

Education director Manny Figueiredo said the board may also face additional costs if the emergency order continues, including for staffing at holding schools that were set to close.

Ancaster students who will attend Spring Valley are presently bused to the former Queen’s Rangers in Copetown, for instance, while Beverly and Seaton were due to close at the end of June.

But Figueiredo said at least none of the schools is in a high-growth area requiring the board to find portable classrooms and get municipal site-plan approvals to put them in place.

“We do have a holding place for everyone.”

Construction of six new Hamilton schools paused by pandemic

Two additions and other major upgrades potentially affected

News Apr 20, 2020 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Ontario’s coronavirus emergency order, which excluded schools from the list of essential construction projects, is halting work on six new Hamilton public schools and planned upgrades to many more existing ones.

Stacey Zucker, associate director of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), said the decision to stop all school construction and renovations came after two legal opinions and the Ministry of Education agreed the emergency order doesn’t allow work to continue.

At this time, HWDSB staff isn’t concerned the construction pause will affect targeted opening dates for the five elementary schools and one high school the board is currently building, Zucker told trustees at their April 16 finance and facilities committee meeting.

The Nora Frances Henderson high school on the South Mountain, originally promised for September 2015, and Rockton Elementary School, which is replacing Beverly and Dr. John Seaton schools, are well underway and scheduled to open this September.

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Spring Valley in Ancaster, the new Greensville and Memorial in Stoney Creek, and the Glen campus school in east Hamilton are targeted for January.

“We do feel right now that the openings are attainable,” Zucker said. “If the pause continues for an extended period of time, then we will have to change those timelines.”

Zucker said other projects facing potential delays include additions to Mount Albion and Collegiate Avenue schools in Stoney Creek, elevators at Ancaster and Sir Allan MacNab high schools, a new sports field at Saltfleet High School, and science labs at Glendale high.

But she said caretakers will still maintain schools as long as work meets exemptions in the emergency order.

“We are allowed to continue maintenance for safety reasons,” she said.

HWDSB chair Alex Johnstone said afterwards school communities affected by the construction pause will be informed shortly, with a more detailed update planned for May on whether projects are still on target.

Among the legal issues the board is exploring, if the order is extended, is: what are the effects on contractors' timeline obligations and their extra costs for revising subcontractor schedules and removing or securing heavy equipment and materials, she said.

“There’s a whole domino impact,” Johnstone said. “We want to plan for all scenarios so that we’re prepared for all scenarios.”

Education director Manny Figueiredo said the board may also face additional costs if the emergency order continues, including for staffing at holding schools that were set to close.

Ancaster students who will attend Spring Valley are presently bused to the former Queen’s Rangers in Copetown, for instance, while Beverly and Seaton were due to close at the end of June.

But Figueiredo said at least none of the schools is in a high-growth area requiring the board to find portable classrooms and get municipal site-plan approvals to put them in place.

“We do have a holding place for everyone.”

Construction of six new Hamilton schools paused by pandemic

Two additions and other major upgrades potentially affected

News Apr 20, 2020 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

Ontario’s coronavirus emergency order, which excluded schools from the list of essential construction projects, is halting work on six new Hamilton public schools and planned upgrades to many more existing ones.

Stacey Zucker, associate director of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), said the decision to stop all school construction and renovations came after two legal opinions and the Ministry of Education agreed the emergency order doesn’t allow work to continue.

At this time, HWDSB staff isn’t concerned the construction pause will affect targeted opening dates for the five elementary schools and one high school the board is currently building, Zucker told trustees at their April 16 finance and facilities committee meeting.

The Nora Frances Henderson high school on the South Mountain, originally promised for September 2015, and Rockton Elementary School, which is replacing Beverly and Dr. John Seaton schools, are well underway and scheduled to open this September.

Related Content

Spring Valley in Ancaster, the new Greensville and Memorial in Stoney Creek, and the Glen campus school in east Hamilton are targeted for January.

“We do feel right now that the openings are attainable,” Zucker said. “If the pause continues for an extended period of time, then we will have to change those timelines.”

Zucker said other projects facing potential delays include additions to Mount Albion and Collegiate Avenue schools in Stoney Creek, elevators at Ancaster and Sir Allan MacNab high schools, a new sports field at Saltfleet High School, and science labs at Glendale high.

But she said caretakers will still maintain schools as long as work meets exemptions in the emergency order.

“We are allowed to continue maintenance for safety reasons,” she said.

HWDSB chair Alex Johnstone said afterwards school communities affected by the construction pause will be informed shortly, with a more detailed update planned for May on whether projects are still on target.

Among the legal issues the board is exploring, if the order is extended, is: what are the effects on contractors' timeline obligations and their extra costs for revising subcontractor schedules and removing or securing heavy equipment and materials, she said.

“There’s a whole domino impact,” Johnstone said. “We want to plan for all scenarios so that we’re prepared for all scenarios.”

Education director Manny Figueiredo said the board may also face additional costs if the emergency order continues, including for staffing at holding schools that were set to close.

Ancaster students who will attend Spring Valley are presently bused to the former Queen’s Rangers in Copetown, for instance, while Beverly and Seaton were due to close at the end of June.

But Figueiredo said at least none of the schools is in a high-growth area requiring the board to find portable classrooms and get municipal site-plan approvals to put them in place.

“We do have a holding place for everyone.”