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Calgary Heritage Initiative forums • View topic - Western Canada High School news

Western Canada High School news

Status of new or continuing risks to heritage sites

Moderator: newsposter

Western Canada High School news

Postby Chris E » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:29 am

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Postby newsposter » Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:06 am

Some people you contact if you are concerned about Western Canada High School (see above).
A cc. to info@calgaryheritage.org is always appreciated.

Calgary Board of Education Trustees: http://www.cbe.ab.ca/contactus/default.asp

Minister of Education Gene Zwozdesky: http://www.gov.ab.ca/home/index.cfm?Page=58

Minister of Community Development Denis Ducharme (deals with heritage): http://www.gov.ab.ca/home/index.cfm?page=41

Area MLA Harvey Cenaiko (Calgary Buffalo): http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.asp ... rnumber=03
Your own MLA http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=mla_home

Area Alderman Madeleine King:
madeleine.king@calgary.ca
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Postby newsposter » Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:22 am

August 30 2007 - stay tuned to find out what the Western renovations will entail. Heritage preservation/rehabilitation is very important to this being a successful project... News release and media reporting below:

Alberta Education news release - August 30, 2007
Metro school boards receive $100 million for modernization

Edmonton ... Government has allocated $100 million from Alberta Education's 2007-08 capital budget to the four major school boards in Edmonton and Calgary to support school infrastructure modernization projects.

The Calgary and Edmonton public school boards will receive $35 million each and the Calgary and Edmonton Catholic boards will receive $15 million apiece. This $100-million announcement coincides with the $97-million government investment in 17 major modernization projects throughout the province.

"This funding will alleviate some of the major pressing maintenance needs of the four school boards," said Education Minister Ron Liepert.

The funding for the Calgary Board of Education will address longstanding modernization requirements at Western Canada High School (Western). Liepert added, "A project team, comprised of representatives from the board and Alberta Education, will work on developing a long range plan which best meets the needs of students and staff at Western."
The Edmonton Public School Board and the Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District will develop plans for their allocations, which will be submitted to the Minister of Education by the end of September. Edmonton Catholic Separate School District funds will be allocated to modernize Archbishop MacDonald High School.

This funding brings the government's investment for new school infrastructure, as well as modernization and maintenance, to more than $600 million for the 2007-08 fiscal year. Alberta's 2007-10 Capital Plan includes funding for 88 new or major modernization projects, including 13 schools to be opened in 2007-08 across the province.

Government continues to work with the Edmonton and Calgary boards on the June 2007 announcement of a public-private partnership for 18 new schools. Planning for a second phase, addressing middle and high schools in the Edmonton and Calgary regions, is under development.

Liepert added, "One of this government's top priorities is providing safe and healthy learning environments for our students. An investment in school infrastructure is an investment in Alberta's students and this province's future."

Investing in Alberta's school infrastructure is one of the actions under Premier Ed Stelmach's plan to manage growth pressures. Other priorities for the government are to govern with integrity and transparency, improve Albertans' quality of life, build a stronger Alberta, and provide safe and secure communities.

--------------------------------------------------------------

CALGARY/AM770CHQR - The same day Alberta's Education Minister is in Calgary to announce details of Calgary's share of $97 million in funding for school repairs and maintenance, the minister announces an additional $100 million for Calgary and Edmonton for school "modernization."
That $100 million announcement will see the Calgary public school board receive $35 million and Calgary Catholic $15 million.

As part of Calgary public's funding, some of the cash will be used to address longstanding repair needs at Western Canada High School. Minister Ron Liepert says a project team will be set up to decide what exactly is needed at Western.


Herald Story:

Western Canada is going to get a much-needed face lift as part of $50 million worth of new school maintenance and modernization money announced for Calgary today... The Calgary Board of Education will receive $35 million to upgrade historic Western Canada High and Calgary Catholic School District will get $15 million for its own modernization and maintenance projects, Alberta Education minister Ron Liepert announced Thursday...

Full story: http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... 47&k=30928
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Postby newsposter » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:40 pm

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Postby newsposter » Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:02 pm

:arrow: Update: Dec 2 2007

Community stakeholders around Western Canada High School report that the CBE has made commitments that strongly indicate the historic school will be preserved in any renovation/rehabilitation scheme. Repair work is happening on the masonry sills, which is good news.

See the news story and news release below.

Concern over possible demolition, which has been widespead over the months, prompted over 500 students to sign an on-line petition in support of the school, and confirm that there were no demolition planned. News story:

http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/RTGAMArti ... ary.ctv.ca

calgary.ctv.ca
cdi
POSTED AT 12:30 AM Wednesday, November 28

Rumours circulating about the fate of an over century year old Calgary high school stirred an online petition to save it.

Students at Western Canada High School created the site on facebook indicating the Calgary Board of Education was going to demolish the school and replace it with a new one.

The CBE told CTV news Tuesday night that the rumour was untrue and it had no plans of tearing down the school.

It's not known how the rumour began.

Upwards of 550 people joined the online group, and some even questioned the validity of the petition and the source of where the information came from.

Western Canada High School is in need of major repairs, and this past summer the province earmarked 35-million dollars for modernization and renovations.

On Monday students, staff and parents were informed by the CBE that the rumour was just a rumour.


http://www.cbe.ab.ca/new/westerncanada.asp

News release November 28 2007: Western Canada is Here to Stay

Repair work to the masonry sills at Western Canada High School continues. In August, the province earmarked $35 million for major repairs to the school as part of a larger modernization package announced for the entire province. The repair work commenced at Western Canada High School after an engineering firm conducted a study of the structural integrity of the exterior of the building and discovered the mortar bonding the window sills to the building had exceeded its useful life. The firm was concerned about the likelihood of one or more blocks falling from the school, posing a potential safety hazard to students, staff and the public.

Western Canada High School has topped the CBE’s list of priority major modernizations for the past five years. During various meetings with representatives of the community, the CBE’s senior administration has reiterated its commitment to Western Canada High School. Moreover, the CBE has identified Western Canada High, in its current location, as key to its long-term accommodation plans for the inner city of Calgary. Rumours about alternative plans for the building are false.

If you have any questions or comments on the above story please email us.


Calgary Board of Education, Calgary’s public school system
"Educating Tomorrow’s Citizens Today"
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CBE Trustees Approve Partial Modernization of Western Canada

Postby newsposter » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:38 am

Letter to CBE stakeholders, Feb 25 2008

CBE Trustees Approve Partial Modernization of Western Canada High School

On Jan. 29, 2008, the Board of Trustees of the Calgary Board of Education approved a plan for the use of the $35 million grant from the Alberta government towards a partial modernization of Western Canada High School. I want to ensure the school community is informed first about this decision, before this information is communicated widely through the media.

In making their decision, the Board of Trustees took into consideration the feedback received from stakeholders as well as existing consulting reports and recommendations from Senior Administration. In addition, they considered the Heritage Report from the City of Calgary, in which the historic value of the building and grounds to the city will likely lead to an upgrade of Western Canada High School to a Category “A” site on Calgary’s Inventory of Potential Heritage Sites. This reclassification would greatly restrict major changes being made to the school.

Subject to the completion of a comprehensive safety audit of the school, a preliminary assessment determined that the $35 million would cover necessary building repairs and the partial modernization of the parts of the school with historical significance. The work will focus on essential building elements, including the building envelope, barrier-free accessibility, hazardous materials removal, mechanical renovations and electrical improvements. Any funds remaining after rehabilitating these areas would go towards some architectural and structural changes to improve the functionality of the building.

Key to the success of the project will be to ensure the safety of students and staff and to minimize disruption to the school during modernization. The CBE will engage three consulting groups to work on the project:

- an experienced Management Consulting firm to manage the overall program, work with the CBE project manager and key stakeholders, to prioritize work, analyze and develop costs, monitor schedules and provide budget tracking;

- an Architectural and Engineering Consultant to assist in the planning and design of structural, mechanical, electrical and other systems, for permit applications and building commissioning; and

- a Construction Management firm to supervise and coordinate the work of specialized subcontractors, to ensure that hazardous materials are safely removed, and to provide costing and construction services.

A preliminary timeline will see the consultants appointed by the end of March, permits approved by the end of October, and construction started at the end of November. Projected completion of the project is June 30, 2011.

The Board appreciates the time, thought and effort everyone has put into making the recommendations. They understand and share the strong feelings that Calgarians hold for the school and want to ensure that the project proudly represents the Calgary Board of Education and the community it serves. Once we have a preliminary design for the work, we would be pleased to convene another meeting of the stakeholder group to share this with you and answer any questions you may have.

We thank you for your participation and look forward to your ongoing support on this important project.



Dr. Brendan J. Croskery

Chief Superintendent of Schools
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Postby newsposter » Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:53 pm

CBE seeks solution to repairs
School board needs $547 million just to catch up
Sarah McGinnis, Calgary Herald
Published: Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Excerpt:

...The bill to renovate Western Canada High School was of particular concern in the CBE report.

In August 2007, then Alberta Education Minister Ron Liepert announced the downtown high school would receive $35 million for a school modernization.

The money came after Western Canada made headlines when rainwater leaked into an electrical panel and a 63-kilogram concrete windowsill fell into the building's empty courtyard.

"The funding announced for the modernization of Western Canada High School will attend to a portion of the facility's needs, but falls significantly short of addressing the reconditioning and modernization that is warranted for the school," the report said.

A project manager and architect have been hired for the renovations but construction has yet to begin, said CBE superintendent of facilities and environment services Frank Coppinger.

Plans are being created to address the major safety and facility concerns such as replacing the windows and windowsills.

Coppinger hopes there will be some money left over to make improvements such as a basic painting of the school. He expects an expense report on the repairs by the end of the month...


Full story
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... 575cd754e9
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Postby newsposter » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:09 pm

By Marilyn Williams,
Cliff Bungalow-Mission Community Association Heritage Committee

Western Canada High School
Modernization Project Underway

On November 20th the CBE welcomed all the stakeholders of the 35 million dollar “Western Canada High School Modernization Project” to bring them up to date regarding the project status. The spirit was celebratory with banners, T-shirts, goodies and the presence of around 50 participants. The project team gave high calibre presentations of their respective responsibilities: Stantec for strategic management of the project, Cohos Evamy for Architecture and Engineering and Lorne Simpson, for the Heritage restoration. Other key players were introduced - Clark Builders for implementation, and assistant principal Jayme Macdonald who will be the school’s prime.

Much has occurred in the 12 months since the project was announced and the stakeholder group began formal discussions. Options were generated and carefully evaluated and a realistic plan put forward; the project management, architectural and engineering contracts were awarded; and over the summer the project team was located in the school as they prepared their project plans. The highlight for the community was to hear the detailed work that has gone into planning the restoration work for the exterior of the school which is to be completely maintained.

There was a positive reaction amongst all the stakeholders, not least from the students who were excited and vocal participants.

The CBE will provide regular status updates through project completion in July 2011.

:arrow: More information and links to follow... stay tuned
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Postby newsposter » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:40 am

Western Canada High School
Partial Modernization Project
Minutes of Stakeholders Meeting
Nov. 20, 2008-11-20

Superintendent of Facilities and Environmental Services, Frank Coppinger opened the meeting and welcomed all participants. He provided a quick summary of what had occurred since the last stakeholder group meeting, in the spring.

• Stantec has been engaged to do strategic management of the project, including business management, monitoring the quality of work, risk management and cost forecasting;
• Cohos Evamy has been retained as Architectural and Engineering Consultants;
• Spiegel-Skillen has been hired as cost consultants; and
• Clark Builders have been retained to make the whole thing work. They will hire the subcontractors and get all the work done without unduly interrupting the learning of students in the school.

Stantec’s Ben Popadiuk gave an overview of the project’s history. It has been one year since provincial funding for the project was announced and the stakeholder group began formal discussions and to consider alternatives. Much has occurred in the 12 months since then. The project team carefully examined the alternatives and put a realistic plan of action together. They issued a Request For Proposal (RFP), and awarded the project management contract to Stantec in April, followed by the architectural and engineering contract to Cohos-Evamy.

Over the summer, the project team was in the school, planning the project. They then put together an RFP for a construction manager, won by Clark Builders. Planning sessions for the team were held weekly. The team developed a budget to get the best value for the dollars we have. Now with the economy slowing down, we think we’re in a good position to get the necessary work done by qualified people, within the budget alotted.

Doug Cinnamon of Cohos-Evamy presented project scope, schedule and costs.
He assured the group his team was committed to doing the best they can with the $35 million. Not part of the project scope, but an area where the team saw a good opportunity for parent and student fundraising, is with the courtyards.

Historical Preservation

Lorne Simpson, Cohos-Evamy, is working on the historical preservation of the building. He described the challenge, beginning with the masonry roof, where there is a whole series of buildings, built at various times, linked by a series of roofs, all in varying conditions. All deteriorated roofing will be replaced under the project scope. New roofing will be added where the roof is disturbed to add new roof top mechanical units.

Window sills will be part of the early work. Carved sandstone will be repaired or replaced. There will be some repairs on the parapets and pillars. Glass block will be repaired and concrete columns repaired.

Over the summer, the team isolated and identified all masonry and window areas and is getting cost estimates done. They are doing a mock-up of one area in a courtyard to do some dry run testing as one way to get the most value from the money we’re spending on the project.

Windows in the building range from replacement to repair – quite a wide range. The key consideration is to keep in mind the heritage nature of the school while planning the restoration.

Kevin Sullivan, Cohos-Evamy, reiterated the project priorities:
• Safety and comfort for student learning;
• Roof and window repair or replacement to preserve historic features; and
• connectivity for 21st Century learning – the goal is to provide wired access to every classroom and staff office area in the school. The team is already meeting with users and other stakeholders to determine priorities.

Mechanical/Electrical Scope

Mechanical, electrical and IT work accounts for about half of the budget. The goal is to improve the internal air quality, safety and reduce energy. Water service will be upgraded for sprinklers, the control systems will be updated, including new fire alarms, new exit lighting and new emergency lighting. There will be quieter, more energy-efficient, plumbing fixtures and piping as well as new lighting.

Barrier Free Access

There is currently no barrier-free access that would meet the City of Calgary building codes. The plan is to provide such access in a number of areas throughout the school, including:
-installing a front entrance ramp into the front lobby;
-adding an elevator at the north end of the east courtyard;
-replacing existing ramps with new ones, to code; and
-upgrading washrooms to barrier-free access.


Upgrades to the main lobby are contemplated – brighten it up with new lighting, new surfaces.

No broad painting program is contemplated – classrooms will be painted where the work is going on.

Sustainability

Another objective of the project team is to “tread as lightly as we can” on the environment while making changes to the interior of the school, including:
o Acoustics
o Lighting
o Temperature control
o Indoor air quality

Resources and materials in the school will be reused where possible, content will be recycled. Material will be locally sourced. Attention will be paid to waste management and water and energy efficiency throughout the project.

Schedule

The project is expected to be completed in July 2011 – basically two-and-a-half years, working through two summers. Beginning in November, 2008, the next three months will consist of consultant coordination, preliminary costing, design review, and review and permitting with all authorities having jurisdiction over the project, including CBE approvals. The project tender documents will start going out in January/February, 2009.

Summary of the Project Scope

Windows
Exterior envelope -- roof and walls
Communications and IT connectivity
Barrier free access
Hazardous material removal
Mechanical renovations
Electrical renovations
Architectural upgrades

Total Construction project costs $29.9 million
Soft costs (consulting, design) $ 5.1 million

Total Project Cost $35.0 million

These are our targets. We have contingencies in place.


Project Coordination

Bruce Clark, from Clark Builders, spoke about phasing and coordination of the project to ensure student and staff safety throughout construction. His crew will work closely with school staff to coordinate the work to make sure there is minimal disruption to student learning.

The School’s Perspective
Carol Grant-Watt, Principal, Western Canada said that students were excited and energized about the project, the staff is nervous but keen. She acknowledged the tremendous support of the parents and the broader community. She said she was assured by the contractors’ concern for student learning. Everyone believes the students are worth the investment.

Assistant principal Jayme Macdonald will be the face of the renovation.




Questions/Comments

Q: Are you planning to host an open house for the community and for parents?
A: We have a communication plan in place. We will work with the school administration and project team to conduct tours/open houses for various stakeholders as appropriate so as not to disrupt the work.

Comment: (Parent) I’m really thrilled. You guys have done a phenomenal job!

Q: Will there be coverage for Jayme when he’s doing this work.
A: We are in discussion on that front. The question is not “if,” but “how much?” of Jayme’s time can be dedicated to the project. We have a commissioning budget that we can tap in to for this.

Q: What is a “soft cost?”
A: Soft costs include a wide range of design fees, consulting fees, project management fees and permit fees.

Q: How will you be Increasing IT connectivity to students?
A: We are working through that now in consultation with the school administration, looking at how this can best be achieved. We are committed to improving connectivity to improve student learning.

Q: What about the opportunity for development of the courtyards. Are there any plans? Or is it just an idea?
A: We have talked about it since the beginning, as an ideal way of getting parents and students involved. We think the best way to do that is for the school to put together a steering committee The project architects would be happy to meet with the committee and help scope out some ideas.

Q: Will the courtyards be usable at the end of this project?
A: Yes, absolutely, they will be safe and usable.

Q: Is there a possibility of accessing other funding for longer term sustainability?
A: There are actually very few rebates available for commercial projects. Most are centred around renewable energy projects, such as solar water heating, which are not part of the scope of this project.

Q: During construction, will students be accommodated in the existing building?
A: Our plan is to accommodate classes in existing spaces in the building -- not to have portables. l

Comment: (Community representative) We are thrilled this is happening, glad the exterior of the building will be preserved.

Q: How far down the road are you envisioning community meetings regarding the construction impact, e.g. trees on the Grand Allee?
A: We’re not at the point where we would know the details or the timing of that. Part of that will be Jayme’s job.

Q: Would Stantec and Clark Builders be prepared to sign on to Code of Practice?
A: We would need to talk about that as a project team.

Q: How much of the historical façade will be changed?
A: The school will look the same or be improved – looking at it from across the street, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Q: What do you mean by “more water efficient” – does that include washrooms?
A: Yes, it means mostly the washrooms.

Q: Considering the changing economic conditions – if you find there is extra money, how would that money be spent?
A: We would work with CBE. We have up to $100 million worth of upgrades on our original list of potential project priorities. Currently the architectural upgrades are at the bottom of that list. If we find we are under budget in our priority areas, the additional funds would go towards architectural improvements.

Q: Fundraising – are there limits to the amount we can raise? We believe we could galvanize the community around this.
A: We would like to take that question back to the Board of Trustees and get back to the school community with an answer.

Q: Could parents do volunteer work, e.g. painting?
A: The CBE is a unionized environment. However, there is a process in place whereby school communities can negotiate with the CBE and its unions to do some of this work. For fundraising and volunteer activities, it might be best to target certain areas for specific fundraising initiatives and work with the school principal as you plan this.

Q: Could students be involved in the construction – especially the esthetic portions? E.g. colors of walls in the washrooms, etc.
A: The architects and contractors will meet with staff and students to look at the outline planned, and involve students where there is an opportunity to do so.

Q: What about the basement? Will any work go on there?
A: Those are not public or student spaces, however there is a lot of work is going on in that area – most of it is about pipes and wires. The foundation is sound.

Q: Will there be work on the water in the fountains? It doesn’t taste good.
A: We can definitely squeeze some water fountains into the scope of the project.

Comment: (Senior heritage planner, City of Calgary) I am very pleased with what the CBE is doing, not only on this project, but on Safran and Connaught Schools as well. You will gain huge sustainability by making the planned changes.

Communication

The CBE is committed to keeping stakeholders informed of the project progress, primarily through the school and CBE website. Questions and answers will be posted regularly. The school principal and AP will be the point people for the day-to-day communication on the project. Regular updates will be provided to the Board of Trustees by Superintendent Coppinger. All media inquiries will be handled by CBE Communications Services to maintain consistency of messages.
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