The Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) was informed today by the contractor of the Great Lakes Secondary School permanent site, Jasper Construction Corp., that the facility will not be completed in time for a September 2018 opening due to challenges related to securing available skilled tradespeople to work on the site.
In the interest of assisting students, staff, parents/guardians with planning for the start of the 2018-2019 school year, Senior Administration decided to delay the opening of the permanent Great Lakes Secondary School site to a date to be determined. The LKDSB plans to work with the school community, including students, parents/guardians and staff, in the early fall to develop a plan for the transition to the new school site.
As this is a priority project for the LKDSB, Administration continues to work closely with the contractor to ensure the renovated site is completed in a timely manner and reflects the vision of an innovative learning environment that meets the needs of current and future students.
"We understand that this is not what the school community was expecting. We share these concerns, as the Lambton Kent District School Board was hopeful the renovations would be completed for September 2018. However, circumstances beyond our control have forced us to make the difficult decision to delay the opening of Great Lakes Secondary School," said Director Jim Costello. "A construction project of this magnitude is like conducting a symphony – if there is one delay, it changes everyone's timing. In the end, we are focused on doing what is best for our students and mitigating any impact the transition will have on academics and programming. We want to ensure our students and staff have a positive transition to the new site."
The overall construction project delays also have a direct impact on the timelines for readying classrooms to welcome students and staff, such as installing furniture and equipment, moving classroom materials, as well as setting up information technology infrastructure and equipment.
While it is anticipated there will be some challenges related to transitioning students to the new site, the LKDSB is committed to mitigating the impact the transition will have on students and staff.
"We are proud of the way our students have demonstrated resiliency with the consolidation and established a unified 'Wolfpack' identity. We will continue to work with the contractor to ensure the project moves forward as quickly as possible as we are looking forward to the next phase in the transition process," added Costello.
The LKDSB maintains regular contact with the contractor regarding construction and renovation updates. Information has also been provided to the school community throughout the project.
"We share the LKDSB's commitment to completing the Great Lakes Secondary School project as soon as possible in order to support a positive transition for students and staff," said Jasper Construction Corp. President and CEO John Appugliesi. "We will be working hard over the next few months to ensure the building is ready to welcome students and staff as soon as possible."
For additional information contact:
Elizabeth Hudie, Chair of the Board, 519-542-0939
Jim Costello, Director of Education, 519-336-1500, Ext 31297
Brian McKay, Superintendent of Business, 519-336-1500 ext. 31480
For reference information contact:
Heather Hughes, Public Relations Officer, 519-336-1500, Ext. 31262
June 7, 2018