The North East School Division board of education is concerned about rising costs for several necessary construction materials for the new school.Devan C. Tasa / East Central Recorder

By Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Facing the inflation of the cost of several necessary construction materials, including lumber and steel, the new school in Carrot River remains expected to be completed on-time with full features.

Originally announced in 2020, the new school, which will consolidate both Carrot River schools and potentially Arborfield School, was expected to cost $21 million.

The topic was brought up during the  North East School Division board of education’s November meeting, where administration requested up to a million dollars in preventive maintenance and renewal funding approved by the province to be set aside for the new school’s increased cost. 

Don Rempel, the NESD’s director of education, said the division is “very close” to approval and there are multiple backup plans to move forward if they are unable to secure an increase of funds from the province.

Kevin Graham, chair of the NESD board, said the completion of the school remains a strategic priority for the division.

“We want to ensure there’s adequate funds available to ensure that that moves forward,” Graham said. “There’s the provincial budget, which is fixed and we obviously have been working with our provincial partners to see if we can get that increase.”

At this time, Graham said nothing in the project has been adjusted or removed to lower costs and the division wants to keep it as close to design as possible, but that will be determined once quotes come in.

“Costs are a factor and we have to be cognizant of that,” he said. “Obviously an increase to the budget will ensure we can keep moving it forward. If there are areas where we do have to say reduced costs we’ll address those at that date.”

The project is expected to go to tender in the early 2022 year. Before any cuts are made to the build, the board would meet and make a motion.

This item is reprinted with permission from Humboldt Journal. See article HERE.

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