DCHS modernization project goes to tenders | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 5pm

DCHS modernization project goes to tenders

Golden Hills School Division (GHSD) has a simple wish for the holiday season; a competitive number of bids for the Drumhller Composite High School modernization and renovation project.
    On December 9 the school division made documents for tender for the approximately $18 million renovation, available to bidders. Principal Tom Zariski says they are excited the plans are at the stage for contractors to bid.

    “It’s incredible,” said Zariski, as the project takes its next step.
    Facilities and maintenance manager Don Hartman for GHSD, expects strong interest for the project.
    “St. Anthony’s just closed and there was a lot of interest in that project, and we expect as much, if not more for us, so it is kind of exciting,” he said.
    The project has been a long time coming. The original commitment to Drumheller schools came in September of 2005 when the Alberta Government committed about $25 million to Golden Hills and Christ The Redeemer school divisions. After much debate and planning, both boards are in the final stages of seeing the projects begin.
    Tender documents for DCHS project are available from the office of Gibbs Gage Architects, or through the Calgary Construction Associations’ Plan Deposit Guarantee Program. Drawings are available to view at the Calgary Construction Association, the Edmonton Construction Association and the Red Deer Construction Association.
    According to Hartman, Alberta Infrastructure has approved the plans for the school, and the project came in under budget. 
    Zariski says the economic slowdown may make the bidding more competitive, and in turn help the overall bottom line of the project.
    “We heard this was a good time to be going into a construction project,” said Zariski. “The architect told us there are companies in Calgary that have built up a skilled labour force over the last five years, and with this slowdown they don’t want to lose these people, so they are bidding on a lot of things, at a good price. Going to this a year or two ago would have been ridiculously hard.”   
    Hartman says the modernization plan for the school will make the school more efficient, and while they have cut more than 3,000 cubic metres from the overall size of the school, he says most are excited by the prospect of the new design.
    “We started out by meeting with the staff, and I think we are pretty close to meeting what the needs are,” said Hartman. “What people are seeing is what they should expect to see.”
    “The toughest customer was me, I couldn’t let it get bigger than we could afford."
    “The teachers have been very cooperative, and the administrators in the school have done everything they could to present the information to the public, and the support has been good. It’s unusual because I have been in these projects for a number of years, and usually there is one group that wants to cause grief, but in this case everyone is excited about the project, even though we are losing about one third of the school. It was obviously oversized in that we could shave off 3,000 square metres, and still fit all of our students in it.”
     Hartman says the modernization will be extensive and have efficiency in mind.
    “Basically, the only thing we are keeping is the shell of walls.  All the painting, heating, cooling, electrical, and data systems that do the networking will all be new,” he said.
    The deadline for bids is 2 p.m. on Thursday, January 15.

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