Cornerstone busy with construction, plans for repairs

The Southeast Cornerstone School Division is having a busy year for capital projects, with two major projects ongoing in Weyburn right now and plans set out for repairs and preventative maintenance for the upcoming months and years.

Andy Dobson, Cornerstone’s manager of facilities and transportation, said this is an unusual year with two major construction projects going at the same time.

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The new $26 million Legacy Park Elementary School is under construction on Fifth Street on the former site of the Weyburn Junior High, alongside the City of Weyburn’s Recreation and Culture Centre, while Cornerstone is also building a new bus shop adjacent to the board offices on 18th Street, worth about $2.5 million.

Both projects are “on time and on budget” so far, said Dobson, showing trustees photos of the projects as they currently appear.

He noted the Legacy Park school will be 7,741 square metres in size with 21st Century learning spaces and an open concept design and a big glass curtain wall to let in lots of natural light, along with a bank of skylights for the commons area, and a 51-space day care.

The main contractor has about 100 employees and contractors on the site on average, and their date for completion of all the work is March 31, 2021. This will give Cornerstone a few months to go over everything and get any deficiencies fixed, as well as to move in all of the furniture for the offices and classrooms, with the school’s opening date in September of 2021.

Dobson showed photos of how the construction is going for the interior, and compared them to photos from Connaught School in Regina, which served in part as inspiration for the design of the Weyburn school, especially for the large commons area and the large staircase leading up to the second level which can act in part as seating for the commons area.

He noted the colour scheme for Legacy Park will see the new daycare have a yellow theme, the school a lime green theme, and the WRCC will have orange and red, all connected with the overall park theme and the changing seasons.

The new bus shop for Weyburn will measure 100 feet by 120 feet in size, with four bays for buses, including one for washing the buses. The projected completion date is June 17, 2020, and the plan is once it’s in place to take over the eight contracted bus routes in the west part of the school division, from Stoughton down to Gladmar, said Dobson.

Funded projects for preventative maintenance and repairs for the 2019-20 school year included $1.5 million for roofing projects, $324,000 for mechanical projects, $230,000 in electrical projects, $167,000 in flooring projects, $242,000 in building or site projects, and $200,000 for the demolition of a portable classroom at Yellow Grass School.

Commenting briefly on portables, Dobson said that calling the classrooms “portable” is a misnomer in rural areas, because once they’re in place, they’re never moved again, and the problem is they can cost up to twice as much to build as normal construction would cost.

The list of operations funded projects for the current school year totals $299,000, and includes school interior or systems projects worth $157,000, HVAC duct cleaning worth $35,500 (at some of the older schools), entrance concrete replacement at Stoughton School worth $10,000 (phase 2), transportation shop improvements in Moosomin worth $29,000, Wawota boys change room reno worth $17,000, and stucco repairs at Westview School worth $50,000.

There were also upgrades to the science lab at Midale Central School, the Home Ec lab at Rocanville and Radville, and a science lab upgrade at Fillmore’s 33 Central School.

Preventative maintenance projects for the 2020-21 school year includes $250,000 for roofing on Lyndale School at Oungre, refinishing the gym floor at Lampman, doing an upgrade to the HVAC system at Assiniboia Park (worth $900,000), $100,000 to move the playground equipment from Haig, Souris and Queen Elizabeth to the new Legacy Park Elementary, $400,000 for system-wide repairs and replacements to HVAC systems, $350,000 for division wide facility repairs and upgrades and $100,000 for division wide electrical repairs.