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Hamilton public school board reviewing plans for two new elementary schools

Hamilton public school board reviewing plans for two new elementary schools - image
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward/File

As one project takes a step forward, two others at the Hamilton-Wentworth District school board are taking a step back.

The construction contract for the new Nora Frances Henderson Secondary school to be built on the south mountain has been awarded to Tambro.

READ MORE: Nora Frances Henderson high school steps closer to construction phase

Shovels are expected to be in the ground in the fall with the doors opening to students sometime in the 2019-2020 school year.

The project will be at least $200,000 over budget at $33.8-million, which is less than initially anticipated.

“We do have some dollars at our board from other major capital projects where we have come in under budget so we’re redistributing some existing dollars,” said board chair, Todd White.

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“Our board will luckily not feel any pain to our bottom line.”

Two other construction projects, however, are causing some difficulties.

READ MORE: Province commits over $30M for schools in Hamilton

An elementary school planned for Rockton and an elementary school to be built on the Greensville school site in Dundas were also put up for tender.

“Unfortunately those projects didn’t attract as much interest from contractors so the competitive bidding process did not materialize the way that we had hoped.  The project’s costs appear higher perhaps than we’ve projected,” said White.

Each project has a budget around the $10-million mark according to White, but contractors were coming in with bids up to fifty per cent higher.

The plan now, he says, is to go back to the drawing board. It’s not a complete overhaul involving new building permits or site plans but rather tweaks to the design to reel in costs.

The Rockton elementary school could be put back up for contractor bids within a couple weeks.

The Dundas project could take longer to review because it involves partnerships with the Hamilton Public Library, a community centre run by the city and a ministry daycare.

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“We’re looking at timing, we’re looking at possible ways to phase the project if necessary but we do not want to compromise the end result.”

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