An artist rendering of the Ucluelet Secondary School from the corner of Peninsula and Matterson. (M3 Architecture Inc. image)

Construction work begins on seismic upgrades at Ucluelet Secondary School

The first phase of the $45 million project involves levelling an area for the new academic block

Construction on the $45 million seismic upgrade to Tofino and Ucluelet’s only high school broke ground this week, on May 19.

Funded by the Government of B.C., the project involves partially replacing the Ucluelet Secondary School and structurally upgrading the Ucluelet Elementary School.

“The enhanced structure will withstand the maximum seismic events that are anticipated. And recognizing that this facility is an emergency response centre, the District of Ucluelet has agreed to provide funding to buy a generator that will be included in the project to provide power in the event there is a power failure,” said school seismic project manager Jim Alkins.

The first phase of construction will involve levelling an area for the new academic block, which will be constructed between the track and Matterson Road and the existing parking area at the secondary school.

Unitech Construction Management has been hired by the school district to complete the project.

“Unitech will bring their site superintendent [Randy Landreville] and they will engage with some other contractors. The first phase will be the striping of the rock outcrop. We are trying to remove some soil,” said Alkins, adding that Unitech has completed about 177 seismic projects throughout B.C.

“It’ll be a fairly slow start and, as we get further into it here, there will be different crews that come on site. The early work right now is to do the site preparation for the new academic block,” he said.

“We recognize there will be periods of noise from these construction activities and vehicles travelling in the area. We have reviewed options and feel we have developed the most efficient approach, which will reduce the construction time and impact on the community. We ask for your patience as we move forward with this important community project,” reads an information bulletin from Unitech site superintendent Landreville.

Alkins said Unitech is bringing about four to five workers for the demolition phase of the project. They are also looking to hire some local trade workers during the summer period.

“Unitech will engage a Covid Monitor to oversee the work activity and strictly enforce the established safe work practices. Local workers will be engaged if possible. Visiting trades will be required to follow safe distancing and proper hygiene on and off the job site,” reads the bulletin from Unitech. “Any employee showing signs of an illness will be required to use their vehicle to go home and self‐isolate until they are cleared by a doctor to return to work.”

Patrick May of M3 Architecture Inc. developed the West Coast themed design concept for the school.

“The existing school is made up of individual blocks with covered walkways between them. The idea in this plan was to repeat that and to take advantage of a fairly large rock outcrop so when you drive in you see that rock and trees that sort of reflects the West Coast in between the two buildings,” said Alkins.

The initial phase of the project will be completed before students return to school in September, notes Alkins. Work on both USS and UES are expected to be complete by Sept. 2022.

“We feel comfortable we can complete the project with the funds that’s been allocated by the province,” Alkins said.

“We’re getting good support from the municipal staff to get things going. We’re pretty happy that it’s moving ahead.”

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel said the West Coast is very fortunate that the funding was earmarked for this project before the economy took a downturn due to COVID-19.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be a wonderful asset and a real driver that’s going to give more people a reason to live in the region,” said Noel.

He pointed out that two other major projects, the new multi-use path through the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the Highway 4 Kennedy Hill safety improvements, are scheduled to wrap within the next year as well.

“You get into 2021 and the whole area looks a bit different,” said Ucluelet’s mayor.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ: B.C. announces $45 million investment in Ucluelet schools

READ: School District 70 changing its name to ‘Pacific Rim’

School constructionUcluelet Secondary School

Just Posted

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

Victoria police make arrest in Centennial Square stabbing

One man was left with non-life-threatening injuries Saturday morning

Visitors and bylaw officers targetted by vandals on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

Tofino mayor condemns vandalism against tourists, says bylaw staff also being targeted

Lamborghini driver slapped with nearly $1,000 in fines while speeding in Central Saanich

Vehicle impounded by Central Saanich police, 11 points issued

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Thief steals ice cream bars from Oak Bay Dairy Queen

Oak Bay resident out nearly $10,000 as CRA scam strikes again

Most Read