New HWDSB schools under construction to stay on schedule despite delays from COVID-19

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) has construction on six new schools paused and renovations on six other schools delayed by COVID-19, but still expects to meet its original deadlines.

The province didn’t deem construction work on schools as essential work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted all of its current projects.

But HWDSB trustee board chair Alex Johnstone told CBC News it likely won’t cause a serious issue for finishing the builds.

“Our construction timelines will be tight, but they will still be on target,” she said.

“It just might mean some work continues over the weekend or in the evenings.”

The schools under construction include:

  • Greensville Elementary School.
  • Rockton Elementary School.
  • Memorial (Stoney Creek) Elementary School.
  • A new elementary school on the Glen campus.
  • Spring Valley Elementary School.
  • Nora Frances Henderson Secondary School.

The renovation projects include:

  • Ancaster Secondary School — Window replacement and two elevator installs.
  • Glendale  Secondary School — Renovations of science labs.
  • W.H. Ballard Elementary School — Playground paving.
  • Memorial City Elementary School — Gymnasium upgrades.
  • Saltfleet Secondary School — Natural turf field and track.
  • Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School — Elevator installation and accessibility.

The board is also closing two tenders on additions for Collegiate Avenue Elementary School and Mount Albion Elementary School, both of which are set to be completed by 2021.

Johnstone said the board will share an update in May on whether builds will be delayed.

“If there are any further delays we are in a position to accommodate all of our students on their current holding school site,” she said.

“With Nora Frances Henderson, they would remain at the Barton campus, or with Memorial Stoney Creek, their new school is literally next door, so we would continue to hold them in their current school.”

She noted there may be additional costs to any extended timelines.

HWDSB is also in talks with its legal team to determine its obligations to its contractors.

“That is to prepare for every scenario,” Johnstone said.

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