The long-awaited modernization project is underway at Notre Dame High School in Bonnyville. The project will leave no corner of the school untouched and includes a new gymnasium, new Careers & Technical Studies (CTS) lab, along with a new entrance way and front office area. The latter part of the project, the entrance and front office, is expected to be delayed from a September 2016 finish to a January 2017 completion date, explains Principal Pamela Guilbault.
“To be quite honest, we knew about this delay,” Principal Guilbault explains that the announcement was merely formalizing the setback. The school and Lakeland Catholic School Board (LCSD) were fully aware of the delay from the beginning. “The project had been delayed from the beginning, once the project was underway the contractor was mobilized and did their best to get it back on track.”
The delay won’t affect student learning in any way, explains Guilbault, “what’s really been delayed is not the instructional spaces, but the front entrance way. By the time the front entrance and the parking lot are completed, that’s the part that will be behind. All the classrooms and everything will be completed for September 2016.”
“We expected this and we were already programming for the future,” states Guilbault. “By the time the awarded the construction, we were already a couple of months behind schedule.”
“As long as all our instructional spaces are finished and we can house all of our students at our main campus by the start of the 2016 school year, we’re happy. If we’re a bit inconvenienced by our front entrance way being incomplete, that to us, is minor.” Students in Notre Dame’s ninth grade have been doing “fantastically at the Centennial Centre, they are just flourishing up there” reports the Principal, who adds that the grade will remain at the C2 until the end of the 2015-16 school year. For now, Principal Guilbault explains, “the students are taking full advance of all the opportunities the C2 has to offer.”
Prinicpal Pamela Guilbault released the following statement in regards to the announced delays.
I would be happy to comment on the press release from the government. This project is incredibly complex. We are taking a building that, in some areas, is over 30 years old, and updating it, with a vision for the future. It is no secret that the ENDHS modernization project was delayed at its culmination. However, once the contractor and all stakeholders were mobilized on site the project was quickly underway. The completion date for the entire project is January of 2017; however, we are assured by the contractor and project stakeholders that the classrooms and student instructional spaces will be completed by September 2016. This means that all grade 9-12 ENDHS students attend classes at the main campus for September 2016. The modernizations to be completed after September 2016 will not directly affect programming, and we anticipate them to be completed in the final three months of the project.
Although the complexity of this project has caused some delays, the end result is going to be worth the wait. ENDHS will building where students will go to learn, to create, to innovate, and to inspire.