Huron-Superior Board confident about new St. Mary's CollegeThursday, September 19, 2013 by: Darren Taylor
Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) officials are still confident the new St. Mary’s College will open for classes in September 2015.
After Wednesday’s Board meeting, HSCDSB Director of Education John Stadnyk told SooToday.com: “We’re still negotiating with one of the bidding contractors to work within the budget we’ve been allocated, and there’s a second step where the Ministry has to approve it and we’re working on that process.”
The province approved $43 million for the new high school in 2011, with construction originally expected to have started by mid-June 2013.
However, the lowest contractor bid still came in at an amount higher than that $43 million figure approved by the province.
Stadnyk was not at liberty to disclose what the lowest bidder’s price is, as negotiations are still in progress.
“I’m optimistic the project is going to move forward,” Stadnyk said, though he added he did not know when the announcement to move forward will come.
Stadnyk said the delay could still conceivably push back opening of the school until a later date than September 2015, but remains optimistic that target date will be reached.
The new three-story St. Mary’s College will be situated at the Second Line and Pine Street area.
Land clearing and other preliminary work at the site has been done by Avery Construction at a cost of $1.53 million.
Meanwhile, HSCDSB Superintendent John Bruno told SooToday.com the Board is pleased that 15 full time teachers made redundant after the end of the last school year are now back to work within the Board’s school system.
Bruno told us the teachers who had lost their jobs were able to return to work because of increased enrollment, unexpected government funding for new teaching positions and the need to fill teaching spaces left by educators taking long-term leaves.
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bugalugs 9/19/2013 12:21:07 PM Report
Very disappointed that no local contractors are working on this job! That is terrible. Avery were hired to clear lot, and that is it!
Slim Shady 9/19/2013 1:32:06 PM Report
While it is always nice to keep the work “in the Soo”, the Board still has to be accountable to do the job on a budget. Local contractors were invited to bid on this job however they did not have the lowest bids. Keep in mind that in a Contractor in southern Ontario can do the same job for less money (do forget that they have higher per diem costs bringing people up to the job and housing them) than our local Contractors should have been able to do it for less (no per diem costs). That being said a Southern Ontario general contractor may subcontract many of the smaller jobs to our local contractors and suppliers.
dandrew61 9/19/2013 1:57:38 PM Report
I would think if no contractor could submit a bid in the $43 mil. budget as planned, then it's obvious someone doesn't know the real cost of building a school as requested. Whoever was assigned to estimate the cost of this project must be replaced or the only alternative we'll get is contractors trying to cut corners or use substandard (cheaper) construction processes in order to complete the job within budget. You can see the final result. A substandard building, high future maintenance cost and possible health risks for our children. All these possibilities while the heads of the school board continue to take in their 6 figure salaries. We pay top dollar for teachers only to scrimp and penny pinch on their most important teaching tool, the school. Just one more of the many reasons Canada continues to fall behind globally, when it comes to education. Those in charge of building the educational facility don't have the education to estimate the cost of such a facility. Sad.