Construction tenders too high
School board hopes to avoid setback

Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

NNSL (Jul 17/98) - Construction of a new French school for Yellowknife has been held up temporarily.

Tenders from architects to build a replacement for the portables that now house Ecole Allain St. Cyr have come in a little on the high side -- 40-per cent too high.

"Tenders have gone out. They were a little high. The whole thing is being looked at again," said Ken Woodley, Yk Education District No. 1 superintendent.

Construction was anticipated to begin this summer with a completion date expected in the fall of 1999.

Three tender proposals were received for the project.

Woodley said there might be a setback if a reasonable proposal isn't found soon. It also depends on what options the school board and the Department of Public Works come up with in the next few days.

"At this point and time we're looking at all the options and seeing if there is any way of avoiding that (setback)," he said.

In another week they should know what to do. The board has yet to decided whether or not tenders will be accepted from southern companies who may be able to build the school at a reduced cost.

They plan to go back to the architects as well to see if there are other ways to go about this project and perhaps find places to cut costs or make modifications.

Last spring, public French school students were first notified that they were finally getting a new school.

The district's board was told by Education Minister Charles Dent that $3 million in federal funds had been set aside for a new Ecole Allain St. Cyr.

The school is now housed in portables on the Sissons schoolyard.

Woodley last year said that it was a couple of years in the making but the $3 million would be used strictly for the construction of the school, expected to be built as an extension to William McDonald school.

Woodley said that the board will likely save some money with the new school in the long run because it would be more energy-efficient than the portables the school is now using.