Positive changes in the local economy that created trade shortages and slowed construction progress at Whispering Ridge Community School (WRCS) in the fall of 2017 did not come soon enough for some.
"With the mechanical contractor going into receivership, general contractor Graham Construction has had to reset the timeline for completion of the new WRCS," says David Michalko, PWSD Facilities Director. "The loss of this service provider is significant, impacting several new school projects in northern Alberta. Unfortunately, our school is included among that list."
A replacement contractor was hired as quickly as possible, but the unexpected change has significantly altered the project schedule.
"Accepting the fact that the post-spring break opening we were aiming for will not happen is disappointing for everyone – staff, students and families," says Principal Shawn O'Shea. "With the delay now pushing our earliest possible occupancy to June, we believe it is in everyone's best interest that the school opening coincide with the first day of classes on September 4. Delaying the opening ensures there are no end-of-year disruptions to student learning and support services, preschool, transportation, and parents' existing child care arrangements."
New furniture and equipment will be set up after June 1 when PWSD officially takes ownership of the building. Students and staff will get their first glimpse of the new school during tours in June, and planning for a parent and community open house night is underway. Teachers and staff will use the district organizational day on June 29 to set up classrooms for the September opening, and work on landscaping, playground set-up, and crosswalks will be completed during the summer months.
To view floorplans and learn more about the features included in the new Whispering Ridge Community School, visit http://www.pwsd76.ab.ca/SchoolInfo/Pages/New-Schools.aspx.
- While much of the new Whispering Ridge Community School is nearing completion, delays created by the mechanical contractor going into receivership have pushed the planned post-spring break April 9th opening to the first day of classes on September 4, 2018. The loss of the mechanical contractor has negatively impacted several new school construction projects in northern Alberta.
- Large windows from the second-floor flex area look down on the covered entrance to the new Whispering Ridge Community School. A music room opens up to the flex area, offering a combined learning and performance space for the school.
- The second-floor music room opens to a naturally lit flex area, creating a large performance space with views of the main entrance and grand staircase below.
- Observation windows located next to the music room offer views of the near-complete gym below. The space is currently being used for storage.
- Sections of ceilings remain open in colour-coded spacious classrooms on the second floor, awaiting mechanical installation.