Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School. Photo Gerry Leibel

CMSD school repair costs hit the roof

The work in Kitimat replaced roofs which had passed their life expectancy

When complete Coast Mountains School District will have spent close to $620,000 on three projects to replace school roofs in Kitimat.

The money is from the provincial government which examines proposals from around the province and then approves the capital expenditures.

The work in Kitimat, which is mostly completed, replaced roofs which had passed their life expectancy at Kitimat City High-Cormorant, Mount Elizabeth Middle/Secondary and Roy Wilcox with a torch-on two-ply roof system. Sloping insulation was added to Kitimat City High.

Together, those three projects are valued at $619,000, accounting for the majority of the $960,578 being spent overall. Roofs were also replaced at Cassie Hall and E.T. Kenney buildings in Terrace.

At the same time, the district has been given $25,000 to design a project to improve the exterior walls and windows at Kildala Elementary.

That money had originally been intended for a similar project at New Hazelton Elementary but was shifted to Kildala because the New Hazelton project had already been completed.

The projects in Kitimat come at a time when the school district is contemplating a wholesale shift in its facilities, demolishing and replacing Mount Elizabeth with a new facility to also incorporate Kitimat City High, and to merge Kildala and Nechako elementaries into one new facility.

A forward-looking study prepared for the school district places the Mount Elizabeth replacement project first on a list of priority capital expenditures for the entire school district.

In 2017 dollars, the Mount Elizabeth project carries a price tag of $65.6 million, while the Kildala-Nechako project would cost $37.8 million, for a total of $103.4 million.

But those projects are contingent upon receiving money from the province, a process which would still take years before any construction is approved.

“Until the [education] ministry supports the replacement of the buildings we have requested, the district is obligated to renovate and improve the facilities that exist as we are committed to continuing to provide a healthy environment for our students and staff,” indicates a statement from the school district.

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