A long-planned two-storey addition for R.C. Garnett Demonstration Elementary is expected to be in place by January 2018.
The expansion of R.C. Garnett has been an item in the district’s five-year capital plan for a some time. Ground will break on the east side of the school this spring, making way for construction of eight new classrooms as well as bathrooms on both floors.
The $3.9 million addition will include one kindergarten room and seven general classrooms, and will increase capacity from 315 to 510 students, said secretary treasurer David Green during the board of education meeting on Jan. 24.
Former PAC president Lorraine Baldwin is thrilled that the expansion is finally getting underway. She has been a longtime advocate for a second storey to handle the overcrowding that led to the use of six portables.
“It’s good news for the community and the students who are there. While my daughters have already aged out and are now in the overcrowded Yorkson Creek Middle School, I am really happy that the parents’ concerns were finally heard after years of communicating the issues,” said Baldwin.
“In my opinion, the Township and the District still need to work to ensure that development doesn’t surpass capacity. My kids went through their elementary school years alternating days on the playground.”
The addition will be wood frame construction with stucco and metal cladding and will be added to the back (east side) of the school. The timeline for this project is tight, with completion anticipated by December 2017, so that students can be moved during the Christmas break.
Before construction could begin, there were six portables at the back of the school that needed to be moved. One was used by a daycare provider.
Green told the board that arrangements have been made to allow the daycare to operate in the multi-purpose room during construction.
The district will relocate the portable to a secure storage site and once construction is completed, will reinstall it at the school. Four portables will be relocated to the front of the school during the construction and will be removed from the site once construction is completed.
The remaining portable will be moved to Langley Fine Arts School.