School opening delayed

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August 21, 2014 9:30 AM

College Park School will not be opening on the first day of school this year. Delays due to construction have pushed back the grand opening, with no firm date in place. LPSD officials are only saying sometime near the end of October to the beginning of November students will begin classes in the new facility. - Christopher W. Brown Photo

The public school board is taking measures for displaced students as construction delays are holding up College Park School’s grand opening.

Lloydminster Public School Division (LPSD) education director Todd Robinson said that the reason for the push back is because of construction delays that the school has.

“We will not begin the school year at College Park this year, because of those delays,” he said. “In the meantime, as an organization we have put plans in place to accommodate the students who would have been served at College Park.”

The students who were expected to be attending College Park in September will be at different schools around the Border City.

Kindergarten to Grade 3 students will be attending Martin Browne School, grades 4-6 will be attending Barr Colony School, while students in grades 7 to 9 will be starting the school year in Bishop Lloyd Middle School.

Martin Browne School closed at the end of the year last year, and Robinson said that he is thrilled that LPSD has the use of the facility still.

“Those students who will be attending College Park will be starting the school year with their teachers and classmates that they will have at College Park,” he said. “The plan that we have will provide transportation service for parents that are in the College Park area and Lakeside area. Parents that were registered for busing and those who would be walking.”

Robinson said that he was optimistic about opening the school for September and the school board had been working with the construction firm and architect for a number of months planning for a September opening. But due to a labour shortage delays were caused creating the need to push back the opening.

“I think that it’s no surprise that if you live in Lloydminster that we just struggle with labour shortages and material right now,” said Robinson. “We had planned for the beginning of September, but as the summer wound down and we got to this stage, it became apparent that due to safety we could not allow access to the building for our staff and students.”

Right now, Robinson said that the school is having some final touches done to it.

“We are in the final stages of painting, millwork stages, the gymnasium is being prepped and dehumidified so we could finish the gym floor,” he said. “There are some final touches in the class rooms as well, including installation of a lot of the smart boards.”

Robinson said that if one was to walk into the school today, you would see a fully built school but with some final finishing stages work to be finished.

Colleen Young, chair of LPSD, said that it’s disappointing to have the school not open on the first day of school.

“It is disappointing, we do live in a community where you look all around you, you can see the rapid growth and a lot construction happening,” said Young “So, it is a very busy and vibrant community, so understanding enough we did anticipate there may have been some delays in construction, but probably not to the point of where it is right now.

“So that is a big disappointment to the board. But having said that, being a strong board of education and working with the administration we have put a good plan in place.”

Both Robinson and Young agreed that the plan will have the least amount of disruption for the students as possible.

College Park School principal David McLennan, said he is excited to get into the school and that he will still have time to meet some of the students in his job as principal of Martin Browne School before the new facility opens.

“I will be directly involved with the students at Martin Browne on a day-to-day basis, and our administrative team is spread throughout the other three schools,” he said.

“This will help at not only the three schools, but also in getting to know the students who will becoming to the College Park School when it officially opens.”

Because of the delay, LPSD will be hosting a College Park School parent information night tonight (Aug. 21) at 7 p.m. at the Lloydminster Comprehensive High School. This will give parents a chance to ask questions about the delay.

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