The Southeast Cornerstone School Division approved the first stage of renovations at the Weyburn Comp during their board meeting on Thursday, and those plans have been forwarded to the Ministry of Education for their approval.
The Southeast Cornerstone School Division approved the first stage of renovations at the Weyburn Comp during their board meeting on Thursday, and those plans have been forwarded to the Ministry of Education for their approval. The new facility is being referred to as the Southeast Education Centre.
"There has been a lot of work that has gone into this, and a lot of involvement from the school staff," explained architect Keith Henry, partner with the Henry Downing Howlett (HDH) architect firm. "In terms of keeping the school operating, we had to think through how to phase the project, particularly the renovation portion of the facility."
Trustee Len Williams, representing the City of Weyburn, was the only trustee to vote against approving phase one of the plans. He stated that he did support the renewal of the facility and the performing arts centre, but couldn't support a plan for a Grade 7 to 12 facility.
Williams urged more consideration into a Grade 9 to 12 facility that might be appropriate to the recent growth of the city.
Cornerstone's five-year facility plan will have Grade 7 to 9 students from the Weyburn Junior High move into the completed Southeast Education Centre. Then the junior high facility will be refreshed into a pre-Kindergarten to Grade 6 school, and will eventually accommodate students from both Haig School and Queen Elizabeth school.
Once the Ministry of Education has approved contract one of the Comp renovations, Cornerstone will go to tender with the hopes of starting construction in April. Work will proceed on contract one and will include upgrades to mechanical and electrical systems, a renovated IT server room, resource centre, 13 classrooms, a new multi-purpose space (the Triple C Centre), school administration office, visual arts, commercial kitchen and daycare rooms.
According to the architect, the Triple C Centre will have capacity for approximately 1,000 people with the retractable seating in place. During tournament events when the gymnasium floor is utilized, there is seating for approximately 200 on the mezzanine.
An altered school year at the Comp for 2011-2012 was previously approved by the board of education, with students finishing semester one by December of this year, and semester two by early June. This will allow extra weeks of empty classrooms for the contractors, with the goal to be complete with contract one renovations by September, 2012.
Once contract one is completed, Cornerstone is hoping to ease into phase two with little delays. The second phase, which has not been approved by the board or ministry yet, will include the demolition of the older brick areas of the building that were constructed in 1913, 1949, and 1961. In the old Cafetorium space, construction of 11 new middle years' classrooms and a staff room will be added.
A new mechanical system will be added for the two-storey addition for the Southeast Regional College, and renovations will be made to the 13 classrooms in the west hallway and existing gymnasium.
There are some outstanding issues that will have to be completed as Cornerstone starts phase one of the renovations. The architect will have to address a separate contract for the commercial kitchen, update all fall protection so that repairs on existing roofing can be completed, ensure proper phasing between the two contracts, and work with the board so that early approval of contract two can be completed.
Henry noted that during all renovations to existing classrooms that they would isolate blocks at a time to reduce disruptions to the school year.