New Learning Studio Spaces – FAQ

What is the status of the portable builds at Willows and Quadra Elementary?

All of the structural components are complete. Most of the building exterior is complete with only the siding to be installed.

The modular interiors have received their base coats of paint and District electricians will begin running wire shortly.

Grounds crew are digging trenches to run services (data/communications, fire and intrusion alarms) and the conduit shall be installed shortly.

Why did the School District choose to build new modular buildings?

The District required additional space and determined that the most cost-effective and long-term solution to the issue would be a locally designed and built modular space.

The District’s aim is to achieve a building that promotes sustainability and emphasizes learning. The District wants a building that is constructed to a higher standard that will last longer than our current units. In addition, we want them to blend in with the school setting and natural environment while providing a bright, fresh learning environment for our students.

A custom modular allows the District to better integrate neighbourhood aesthetics into the exterior design. Our new buildings use modern, attractive claddings such as Hardipanels, custom sheet metals flashings and trim fabricated by our skilled tradespeople, and a long-lasting metal roof. They have a unique sloped roof to allow lots of light.

They are also built to a high environmental standard using local products with limited energy consumption.

Why are the buildings taking so long to construct?

The construction of the new portables has involved a consultative process with the designers and District operations and educational staff.  The designers have presented the District with their vision and we have provided input to ensure our classrooms are the most conducive learning environments.  While we anticipated timely completion, various issues associated with the piloting of our new model have caused delays.

The biggest delay to date has been the new heating and ventilation and lighting systems we are installing in the portable, which will heat and help cool the portable and provide adequate air exchanges.

Labour availability has also caused the District delays.  For example, getting roofers who are very busy across the province as were/are other suppliers of materials (windows, etc.). The District was required to contract out the roofing which caused delays. Delays also caused by the lack of skilled labourers in a number of trades specific to these builds including electricians and carpenters. We have recently hired additional staffs that have been assigned to the projects. In addition, staff have been working overtime on completion.

Finally, as we previously have communicated, when the District became aware of potential delays at Willows due to the problems noted above we reallocated some staff to other projects to ensure that they were complete in time for September start-up. Upon completion, full crews were placed at Willows and the timing of the work has proceeded efficiently.

How long is the service life of the buildings?

We anticipate that with proper care and maintenance, the classrooms will last 50+ years.

What technology will be implemented in each classroom?

Each classroom will include the District’s standard interactive TEC learning package.

The lighting fixtures are all LED. These systems include occupancy sensors and photocells which can dim and switch off lighting in areas that are not being occupied, or when the natural lighting is sufficient.

How many students will the building accommodate?

The building is sized to accommodate a standard classroom (29 students).

Will there be washrooms in the buildings?

Like most District portables, these buildings will not include washrooms.

When will the Willows and Quadra Elementary portables be completed?

Students will be in their new space no later than November 13, 2017.


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