Just under $2 million worth of construction work will be completed over the coming months that will transform Prince Edward Collegiate Institute into a kindergarten to grade 12 facility.
Trustees with the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board approved a tender from K. Knudsen Construction at their monthly board meeting Monday night at the Education Centre in Belleville.
The work includes the renovation of existing classrooms for the creation of four kindergarten rooms, renovation of the senior cafeteria for two special education classrooms, renovation of the lecture theatre to two classrooms and the addition of an elevator and accessible washroom.
It is anticipated the work would be completed for the start of school in September 2018.
Included in the recommendation submitted by Superintendent of Business Services Nick Pfeffier and others was an existing floor plan that indicates the new Kindergarten spaces will be located across the hallway from the current lecture hall and senior cafeteria.
The floor plan also indicates that the culinary arts room will be relocated to the technological studies wing in the northeast corner of the school.
Work on the $1.,915, 445 project will need to start shortly in order to welcome young learners who will be starting at the school this fall after Queen Elizabeth is closed for good at the end of June.
“We are hoping the work will start very soon,” Pfeffier said.
The superintendent added that he expected to meet with the contractor in the next week or so and that work should commence within the next 45 days.
“We expect the work will be in full swing by June and completed by September,” Pfeffier added.
A project of this magnitude will likely lead to some disruption for secondary school students in the final months of the school year.
“No matter what, there’s going to be some disruption but I think this school is aware of what’s happening and they’ve been living with ongoing work for the past year and are well set up to deal whit this sort of thing,” Pfeffier added.
In addition to the work going on inside of the facility, it’s expected that there will be ongoing modifications to the exterior areas at the front and the rear of the school.
Last year, HPEDSB was ready to issue a tender for modifications and upgrades to the front and the rear of PECI however there was a last minute snag in the project and the school board missed its window of opportunity
“We were ready to award it when the municipality went back with their planning department and required some changes to the design, so while this work is happening on the inside of the school, the exterior work will be going on as well,” Pfeffier said.
Cooney Excavating was initially awarded the tender which included front entrance modifications at a cost $370,275 and rear modifications expected to cost $217,443.
The iconic semi-circular drive way at the front of PECI will be altered drastically, judging by site plans attached to the report.
The front driveway will still enter the school the school from Barker street but will be more of a semi-oval, running parallel to the front of the facility and exit at the south west corner of the property nearest to the corner of Barker and Paul Streets.
The lane size will be doubled to allow busses to drop and pick up students off in front of the school instead of staging at the western side of PECI as is the practice now.
In addition to those modifications, the rows of parking at the front of the school will be moved closer to the school so as not to encroach on Barker street and the southeastern staff lot is to be expanded.
The back parking lot will also be repaved and one of the three tennis courts will be lost in order to expand and provide more parking for staff and students.