More delays for stalled River Hebert project?

Darrell Cole
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Consultant terminated by school board

River Hebert's stalled high school project could be delayed some more after the school board terminated the consultant's involvement.

RIVER HEBERT – The stalled renovation project at River Hebert District High School looks like it’s heading for a longer delay after the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board terminated consultants Connor Architects & Planners from further involvement in the project.

“Notice has been provided to Connor Architects & Planners that its involvement in this project is being terminated and that it will no longer be associated with this project,” the board’s director of operations Herb Steeves said in a letter to members of the school steering team that was obtained Tuesday by the Amherst Daily News. “The decision to end our relationship with Connor Architects was not undertaken lightly. The primary consultant exhibited an ongoing inability to meet project deadlines. This has delayed the development of the request for proposals for the next construction phase.”

Connor Architects was responsible as the primary consultant for developing space allocation, design specifications and to oversee construction management phases of the project.

Board spokeswoman Debbie Buott-Matheson said moving forward the board hopes to use a firm that is experienced with the project or has experience with similar projects so it can pick up where Connor Architects has left off.

While not a restart of the RFP process, she said, it could cause a delay as the new firm gets familiarized with the work completed to date and works through various issues.

Buott-Matheson is hopeful the delay will be days or a few weeks and not months for a project which has been idle since January 2012 when a tender call came in much higher than what the province had budgeted.

Steering team committee member and area municipal councillor Mike McLellan said community members are beyond frustrated with the continued delays and there are lingering doubts if it will ever be completed.

“The buck is being passed back and forth and the community can’t get a straight answer,” McLellan said. “It’s frustrating.”

McLellan said that while the board and province continue to reassure residents the project will be completed, he said the two-year anniversary of its start is approaching with no timeline on when it will be finished.

“I know the board and the province have been very good at saying there are no plans to not finish the school, but the longer this goes on the more there will be doubts in the community,” he said. “I was still in school when they closed Joggins school and even though we were sent to River Hebert it was quite a change. Imagine having to send everyone to Amherst. The community here won’t stand for it. This is just not right.”

Twitter: @ADNdarrell




Organizations: Connor Architects, River Hebert District High School, Central Regional School Board Amherst Daily News Joggins school

Geographic location: River Hebert, Chignecto, Amherst

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Recent comments

  • David
    April 23, 2013 - 20:29

    I was on the computer looking at prices.The River Hebert School renovation money 6.2 million was set aside in 2009. In 2009 minimum wage $8.10 today $10.15, gas .69 cents a liter $1.26 today Has anyone bought groceries lately. The people who work for the school board who think they can still do the renovation for the 6.2 million should join the rest of us in the real world. I did not need consultants and college education to find these things out I just stopped at a store.

  • David
    April 23, 2013 - 19:21

    How much of the 6.2 million that was budgeted in 2009 for the school renovation has been spent on the consultant firm. I'm not sure how the school board figures that the 6.2 million that was budgeted in 2009 will still do the renovation in 2013. They said they would not write a blank cheque when the renovation came in 2 million over budget . how much was paid to the consultant that was fired ,that money is gone!!!! T.J the liquor store came in at 72% over budget and rumour has it there will be no liquor in River Hebert or Joggins. Another one bites the dust.

  • t.j.
    April 23, 2013 - 18:30

    they'll have the liquor store re-located and built before the school !!!

    • willie wonka
      April 24, 2013 - 12:58

      I'LL DRINK TO THAT! A licker store is much more neaded then an edukation fasillity anyweigh.