"It's shaping up to be another busy summer," says Barry Friesen, the Maintenance Manager for Border Land School Division (BLSD). The summer months provide a good opportunity for crews to tackle a regular to-do list without interrupting classes.
This year's list of jobs, according to Friesen, includes the usual items like applying new coats of paint in schools, flooring and cabinetry replacements, lighting upgrades and tree planting.
A few extra projects have also been added for this summer. Those are sidewalk replacements at Gretna School, Roseau Valley School (RVS) and W.C. Miller Collegiate, a new furnance and air conditioning system at the Power Mechanics shop in Dominion City, new PA systems at W.C. Miller and Ecole West Park School, and upgrades to the 35 year old running track at W.C. Miller.
"It was put in about thirty/thirty-five years ago I believe, and we haven't done a lot of maintenance to it so it was time," said Friesen, referring to the track improvements. Overall, he explained age does play into what projects get planned for each summer, noting the average age of BLSD schools is around 41 or 42 years. "There's certainly other divisions that have older schools than that and there's divisions that have newer schools than that," he noted.
In addition, about $630,000 in ventilation improvements are happening at four schools in the division over the summer months. Friesen says this work was made possible thanks to an expanded capital projects program announced by the Province earlier this year.
"We put in our wish list and we were granted replacement or installation of air conditioning units," he explained. Benefitting from this program are Emerson School, Ecole Parkside School, RVS and Ross L. Gray School. A larger, crawlspace ventilation project is also slated for RVS.
The plan, according to Friesen, is to have most, if not all, of this work done by the time students head back to class in September.