February 23, 2021
In our last update on the BHCS modernization project, we were expecting that students would be able to move into a nearly complete facility in April.
We were informed in January that the school would not be completed to the level that had been originally anticipated by April. While the classroom section of the school should be ready by then, other areas of the school will not be complete and it would be challenging to have classes resume in the school while these areas are still under construction.
As BCHS students have already experienced a great deal of upheaval due to having to relocate to the C2 during construction, as well as dealing with COVID-19, the NLPS Board of Trustees and administration was concerned about the mental health impact on students, and felt it was unacceptable to expect students to return to a school that was not complete.
Working with Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA David Hanson, NLPS was successful in getting approval for students to remain at the C2 for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, at no additional cost to the school division. We appreciate MLA Hanson’s support on this issue and his advocacy for our students.
Progress is being made on the project on both the exterior and interior. New windows have been installed in the classroom wing and work has already started on the interior of the classrooms. Exterior work will continue on the east side of the school as well as the new gym.
As the project gets closer to completion, we will share photos of what the inside of the school looks like. We look forward to welcoming students to the school for the start of the 2021-2022 school year!
Project Update: October 16, 2020
Many of you have been asking questions about the progress of the modernization of BCHS and when students may be returning to the school.
As you may recall, the initial plan was to move students back to the school at the end of Phase 1 of the project, which was anticipated to be completed in January 2021. To ensure student safety during construction and minimize disruption to student learning, that plan has now been adjusted so that students remain at the Centennial Centre until Phase 2 of the project is completed in April.
That means that students and staff will return to a fully modernized school in April. Only the theatre and exterior site work will need to be completed.
For those of you who have been driving by the site and checking on the progress, here is what has been completed on the project to date:
- Foundation work has been completed for the new structural portions.
- New gym walls are currently being erected.
- Structural steel is being erected.
- Majority of major mechanical equipment is installed and rough-ins are ongoing.
- Electrical rough-ins are ongoing.
- Roofing is ongoing.
- Parking lot work is underway with the first layer of asphalt expected this year.
- All underground sewer and water work is complete.
- Second storey is stripped of stucco and prepped for new cladding. New window cut-ins are complete.
- Second storey framing is largely complete.
The final completion date for the project remains as January 1, 2022. We will provide further updates on the project when we are able to.
Project Update: April 24, 2020
We are pleased to share that the first phase of the Bonnyville Centralized High School modernization project is now underway.
As mentioned in our update on March 11, Alberta Infrastructure awarded the contract for the project to Alberta Infrastructure to Jen-Col Construction out of Acheson, Alberta.
The contractor was on site earlier this month to set up safety fencing and prepare the site for the project. Abatement and demolition work is scheduled to start today (Friday, April 24) and is expected to continue for approximately 90 days.
We have received a lot of questions about when students may be returning to the school and whether or not the project will be completed before they return. When classes resume, students will return to the Centennial Centre. Classes are currently cancelled indefinitely and we do not yet have any indication of when they may resume.
If construction proceeds as currently scheduled, we anticipate students and staff being able to move back into BCHS for the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year. The entire modernization project will not be completed at that time, but we expect the majority of the work on the west side of the school will be done. Construction will continue on the east portion of the school after students have returned and will be phased in a manner that minimizes disruption to instruction and places an emphasis on the safety of students and staff.
We recognize that the timeline for students being at the Centennial Centre is now longer than what everyone had originally expected and we appreciate that this has created some anxiety for our students, parents and staff. Unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control led to unanticipated delays in the start of the project. We are hopeful that now that the contractor is on site and work is underway, the project will proceed with minimal delay and we can start looking forward to the programming that can be offered once the modernization is complete.
Project Update: March 11, 2020
In keeping with our commitment to provide you with updates on the progress of the BCHS modernization project, we would like to share the latest information that we have received from Alberta Infrastructure.
Alberta Infrastructure has informed us that it is in the process of awarding the contract for the modernization of BCHS to Jen-Col Construction out of Acheson, Alberta.
Within the next two weeks we should have more information to share regarding construction startup and timelines for the project.
Once again, we would like to thank everyone for their patience and the support they have shown for this project.
Project Update: January 7, 2020
On behalf of the Northern Lights Public Schools Board of Trustees, I would like to express our appreciation for the patience and understanding you have shown during the ongoing uncertainty with the BCHS modernization project. We know there has been a high level of confusion about the status of the project and the length of time students will spend out of the school, as well as frustration that the students were relocated and construction did not start when anticipated.
The Board is disappointed with the lack of progress made on the project to date. Throughout the process, our goal has been to provide students, parents and staff with as much information as possible about the project and timelines. Each time we have communicated with you, we have provided the best information to you that we had at the time. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, the timelines we were provided have not been met.
The latest update we have received is that the project has gone to tender. Once the tender process is complete, we expect to get a better idea of when construction will start and what the phasing of the project may look like.
As you are aware, we worked with Alberta Infrastructure to ensure students could remain at the Centennial Centre until the end of the 2019-2020 school year. If progress on the project continues to experience delays, one option we will be exploring is the possibility of extending the relocation period beyond this year. This will include asking Alberta Infrastructure to cover the costs of the relocation above and beyond what has been allocated for the modernization of the school. We do not want the scope of the work being done at the school to be reduced due to relocation costs.
At our December 13th board meeting, we discussed our concerns about the project with Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA David Hanson. We are appreciative of the work Mr. Hanson has been doing to move this project forward and his commitment to advocate on our behalf for relocation costs to be covered separately from the overall project. We are hopeful that by working together there will be a positive resolution to this issue.
We want you to know that we share your concern and frustration with the way this project has unfolded. Moving this project forward is one of our top priorities and we will continue to work with the provincial government to ensure the project proceeds and that, once completed, it meets the needs of our students and community.
As updates become available, we will continue to share them with you via email and on the BCHS website.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Arlene Hrynyk, Board Chair
Northern Lights Public Schools
Project Update: July 18, 2019
We are pleased to be able to share that Alberta Infrastructure has been given the go-ahead to proceed with the modernization of Bonnyville Centralized High School.
The next step for the project will be for Alberta Infrastructure to issue a Request for Qaulification (RFQ). Proponents may be shortlisted or prequalitied based on qualifications and experience. Following the RFQ process, the shortlisted or prequalified proponents will be invited to respond to the Request for Proposals (RFP), which is expected to close in early fall with contract award following.
While the start of construction is slightly later than what was discussed with parents and students in the spring, Northern Lights is not making any changes to the relocation plans that have already been announced. Students and staff will start the 2019-2020 school year at the Centennial Centre and remain there until the end of the first semester. This will accelerate the first phase of construction, reduce disruption to students, and help ensure student safety.
A decision on whether or not to remain at the Centennial beyond the first semester will be made once the project is underway and timelines for the different phases of construction have been determined. Our goal is to have the project completed as quickly as possible while minimizing the impact on students.
We would like to thank all of the current and future BCHS students and parents for their patience and understanding during the planning phase of the project. We look forward to continuing to work with you during construction and to celebrating with you when the project is complete.
Driver training is back! - May 29, 2019
Driver training is returning to BCHS next year!
Through a partnership with Woods Driving School, Grade 10 students will be able to take the Driver Training LDC-3363 course next year as part of their Career Transitions classes.
“We’re excited to bring back driver training for our students,” said BCHS Principal Corey Baker. “Having a driver’s licence opens up a world of opportunities for our students, including jobs where having a licence is a requirement.”
The training, including the practical driving instruction, will all be done during the Career Transitions class, so students will not have to stay after school or set up appointments for weekends. There will be an opportunity to add extra training sessions outside of school hours for those who may want that option.
BCHS is also pleased to announce that it will be able to offer driver training at a discounted rate compared to what students would pay if they pursued the training outside of school hours.
In addition to working towards earning their driver’s licence, students will also earn credits towards graduation for completing the course.
Driver training for Grade 10 students is just one of the many programming opportunities being offered at BCHS next year. Grade 9 students will have the opportunity to take an accelerated math class that will allow them to complete Grade 9 math and Math 10C in the same year. They will also have expanded options in the afternoon due to the school being relocated to the Centennial Centre for the first semester.
Second parent meeting - Posted May 13, 2019
We have had numerous requests to hold a second parent meeting to discuss the modernization project that is starting at BCHS this summer, and our plans to relocate to the C2 for the first semester next year.
All Bonnyville parents interested in learning more are invited to attend a Parent Information Session on Wednesday, May 22 at 6:15 p.m.
We will share information on the following:
- What is included in the modernization project and what the school will look like when it is completed;
- The timeline for construction;
- What our plans are to minimize disruptions to programming and ensure student safety while the project is underway;
- Some unique programming opportunities available to students next year when we relocate to the C2; and
- How we plan to communicate with you about the project in the future.
Accelerate your learning - May 9, 2019
Next year, Grade 9 students at Bonnyville Centralized High School will have the option to take an accelerated math program that will allow them to complete the Grade 9 math curriculum and Math 10C at the same time.
“The feedback we have from our students is that when they reach grade 11 and 12 their schedules become really full, especially as they try and combine academics, perhaps a part-time job, and various other extracurricular pursuits,” explained Principal Corey Baker. “This reality means many of our students experience stress and anxiety because they want to excel in all aspects of their academic and personal life. Offering an option where kids can accelerate their math program in grade 9 will create some flexibility for these students as they progress through high school.”
Students who complete the course will be able to move into Math 20-1 or 20-2 in Grade 10 and will be able to fit 30-1 or 30-2 into their schedules in grade 11.
The Grade 9 accelerated math course will be available for the first time in 2019-2020, and provides BCHS with the ability to customize students’ educational experiences while they are attending school at the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre and the current school is undergoing a modernization.
Offering accelerated math to Grade 9 students addresses both of the division priorities identified by the Northern Lights Public Schools Board of Trustees following extensive consultations with stakeholders earlier this year - improving the numeracy skills of students, and improving the mental health and wellness of students. These priorities will be part of the division’s 2019-2022 Three-Year Education Plan.
Project Update: April 30, 2019
Thank you to those of you who were able to attend last night’s Parent Information Session about the upcoming modernization project and how we plan to minimize disruptions to programming and ensure student safety while construction is underway.
For those of you who were unable to attend, we would like to share the information that was provided at last night’s meeting. We will also be creating a section on our website that includes information about the project as well as regular updates and answers to frequently asked questions. If, at any time, you have questions about the project and our plans, please contact Principal Corey Baker.
Please note, that the project is being managed by Alberta Infrastructure, not Northern Lights Public Schools. NLPS is an invited party to the process, which means we can help inform the decisions that are made, but we do not have the authority to direct any part of the process. Alberta Education determines the budget, and Alberta Infrastructure manages the project, which includes the design, issues the tender, and works with the contractor to determine the timelines and phasing of the project.
The information we are sharing is the most up-to-date information we have, but it is possible some details may change. If they do, we will make sure everyone is informed in a timely manner.
- The modernization of BCHS includes upgrades to the building envelope, mechanical systems and classrooms, as well as a large new gym (with an NBA-sized basketball court), new learning commons with a fireplace, new cosmetology room, a kitchen so we can offer foods programming, better student parking, and relocating the school’s entrance and administration offices.
- Floor plans and drawings of what the school will look like once construction is completed are available for viewing at the school.
- At this time, construction is anticipated to begin over the summer. Generally, these projects take two years, and sometimes slightly longer than that. Modernizations can be quite challenging as provisions need to be made for programming to continue for students while construction is underway.
- To accelerate the project, we have agreed to relocate all of our students to the Centennial Centre for Semester I next year. The exact phasing of the project will be determined by the contractor in consultation with Alberta Infrastructure, but we expect that relocating students will allow construction to proceed more rapidly, particularly on parts of the project that will be more difficult to do while students are in the building, such as relocating the mechanical room and moving the stairs at the north end of the school.
Relocating to the C2
- At all times during the project, student safety will be our top priority. That is one of the reasons we have committed significant resources to relocate students and staff to the C2 next year.
- We are also very excited to have our students at the C2 as we will be able to take advantage of the amenities to enhance the learning opportunities we can offer to students. For instance, at 2 p.m. each day all of our Grade 9 students will start their options classes, and because we are in the C2 we will be able to use the field house, climbing wall, arenas, weight room, and pottery studio to offer options we aren’t currently able to offer at BCHS. We will be sharing more specifics on what we will be offering over the next few weeks. We will also be offering classes in mechanics, rocketry, and electronics.
- We have entered into a lease with the C2 beginning in August. We will be creating classrooms in the Agriplex and will also be using the existing C2 classrooms that are located on the main floor of the centre. We will not be using the second floor classrooms.
- We will need to adjust the school’s hours of operation to accommodate the C2’s schedule. This means the school day will end at 3:15 p.m. As a results, buses will drop high school students off at the C2 in the morning first, before proceeding to the other schools, and BCHS students will be be picked up first in the afternoon.
- To help students transition to the C2 next year, we will be holding orientation sessions for all students, not just our Grade 9’s, prior to school starting. We will share more details closer to the start of the new school year.
- Over the next couple of weeks we will be sharing more information about some of the exciting programming opportunities we will have for students to take part in next year. These will be shared with you by email.
- We will also share updates with you as the project progresses. In addition to sending you emails, we are also creating a page on our website that will include details about the project, any updates that we share, and answers to any frequently asked questions that we receive.
- If you have any questions at any time during the project, please feel free to contact school administration and we will do our best to answer them or to get answers from the contractor and/or Alberta Infrastructure. We will also make an effort to share the answers with all parents, as they may have similar questions or concerns.