Near North District School Board (NNDSB) build committee members recently toured the site of the new elementary school being built at the location of the former W.J. Fricker Public School.
On hand for the site tour were Board Chair Jay Aspin, NNDSB Trustee and build committee chair Bill Steer, Trustee Louise Sargent, Superintendent of Education Gay Smylie, Superintendent of Business Seija Van Haesendonck, Capital Projects Manager Marianne Speirs and Executive Assistant Krista Messenger.
Committee members received an update on the progress of the build from the Venasse Building Group site supervisor and were pleased to hear that construction is progressing on schedule and on budget.
The Ontario Ministry of Education has provided funding for the school, with additional funding provided by NNDSB to build a new JK-6 school, Child Care and EarlyON Child and Family Centre to replace W.J. Fricker Public School. Once complete, students from nearby E.W. Norman and E.T. Carmichael Public Schools will be relocated to the brand-new facility The new school supports the board’s multi-year strategic plan (MYSP) pillar of excellence in teaching and learning by providing a modern space in which students will be educated for the 21st century.
Committee members were provided with a thorough review of construction plans and were briefed on the next steps in the project.
All classrooms in the new school will feature very large windows providing natural light to the learning spaces. The childcare and kindergarten classroom windows will be installed at lower heights to allow the littlest learners the chance to look outside.
During the tour, sub-trade labourers were busily laying the last few courses of block walls and pouring the few remaining concrete floors. Once these critical steps are complete, roof construction will commence to seal the structure against the elements before the winter sets in.
“Our Board has worked extraordinarily hard under very difficult circumstances these past couple of years to obtain approval and get this new school built. The new school on the former Fricker site completes the process of responding effectively to declining enrolment and modernization of facilities in all areas of North Bay ensuring the students of the Near North are equipped to achieve their full potential,” Chair Aspin said.
Director of Education Craig Myles said NNDSB is “proud to provide updated schools that contribute to student achievement and well-being while being fiscally responsible.”
The board will soon be establishing a renaming committee for the school which is scheduled to open to students in September 2023.