New company hired to lead River Hebert school process

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Stantec replaces Connor Architects as lead consultant

Stantec has been hired by the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board to be the lead consultant to the stalled renovation project at River Hebert District High School. The project has been idle since January 2012.

RIVER HEBERT – A step has been taken in restarting a stalled renovation project at River Hebert District School.

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board has confirmed it has hired Stantec Consulting Ltd. to assume the role of primary consultant for the addition and renovation to the school.

“Their knowledge and experience working as part of the consultant team on this project in the areas of structural, mechanical and electrical engineering, will be beneficial,” the board’s director of operational services Herb Steeves said in a letter to the school steering team.

Stantec’s hiring comes less than a month after the board terminated consultants Connor Architects & Planners from further involvement in the project. The company was responsible as the primary consultant for developing space allocation, design specifications and to oversee the construction management phases of the project.

The project has been idle since January 2012 when a tender call came in much higher than what the province budgeted.

Steeves said the progress Stantec has made in the last three weeks has been significant.

“Stantec has finished a review of the status of the documents. They have recently visited the school again to review the situation,” Steeves said. “Based on this, a schedule has been developed that indicates the tender drawings and specifications will be finalized on June 24, 2013. A final Department of Education review is required before going to tender.”

Board spokeswoman Debbie Buott-Matheson said once the department reviews and approves the documents they would go out to the market.

“Once the tender documents are delivered to us we will essentially have a request for proposals ready to go. It will still have to be reviewed and approved by the department,” Buott-Matheson said. “Considering where we’ve been this is a big step forward. Stantec has done a lot of work in the last three weeks getting caught up. It should be good news for the community. It’s certainly great news for us.”

If all goes according to plan, the board is hoping construction will resume at the school sometime in the fall.

Mike McLellan, who is the area’s county coucnillor and a member of the school steering team, said the hiring of Stantec is a positive news, but suggested the community will breathe easier once work resumes.

“The activity we’ve seen in the last three weeks is a positive. I’m pretty confident it will move forward, but the only thing that worries me is if it comes in over-budget again,” McLellan said.

With the project being on hold for a year and a half, McLellan said its potential cost has no doubt increased from what was originally budgeted.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Stantec, River Hebert District School, Connor Architects Central Regional School Board Department of Education

Geographic location: RIVER HEBERT, Chignecto

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