May 18, 2021
Trustees updated on Parry Sound JK-12 build
Near North District School Board (NNDSB) trustees were updated on plans that would anticipate the new Parry Sound JK-12 school opening in September 2023. The update for the Board came via a report from the Parry Sound Build Committee, whose May meeting featured a presentation by +VG Architects (the Ventin Group).
The committee meeting was attended by +VG’s Paul Sapounzi and Ed Bourdeau, who shared a review of project developments, including a timeline and project stages. The first phase includes a partial demolition this summer, ensuring students have a functional school to attend in September 2021 while construction begins on the new building.
Plans include the demolition of the north side of the current building (library area), while maintaining the cafeteria and shop areas. The two-storey school will feature two wings forming an L-shape: a childcare/elementary wing and a secondary wing. Main elements will be located on the first floor (cafeteria, lobby, gym, administration offices). The second floor will be academic wings, with seven additional elementary classrooms and private study areas. The rear wing will house technology areas, and science and technology wings are being overlaid to make the best use of ventilation systems.
The L-shape will allow construction around the existing building while placing the new build prominently on the site between the two main streets.
NNDSB Board Chair Jay Aspin said, “Our Board is very pleased to have received architectural plans from the Ventin Group for our Parry Sound K-12 school currently scheduled to open September 2023. Since elected, the construction of this school has been a top board priority and thus we are very gratified to keep our promise to the Parry Sound region.”
Bourdeau, +VG’s education specialist, told the committee the ideal time to tender is early January 2022, which requires that drawings should be submitted to the Ministry for approval in September 2021 in order to be approved and plans completed in December.
The Board approved a presentation to be made by Chair Aspin, Vice-Chair Cochrane and Director of Education Craig Myles to the Town of Parry Sound Council.
Construction is scheduled to begin in March of 2022, allowing a full 18 months to construct the building. It is anticipated that the move-in will occur over the summer of 2023 for a school opening in September 2023.
Board vice-chair John Cochrane, who is chair of the Parry Sound Build Committee, said, “The taxpayers, students and staff of the Parry Sound regional high school have waited far too long in an outmoded 72-year-old building. Our Board has been committed to rectify this situation. We thank our MPP Norm Miller and our local politicians for expediting our Board’s initiative.”
Sapounzi told the committee that in his experience, the projects that are taking a long time for ministry approval are the ones that come in above budget. He said that taking time to thoroughly prepare and meet all requirements will help expedite the process.
The school has been approved for six edu-pods (four for secondary and two for elementary). The pods are designed by +VG and are interlocking structures that maximize flexibility and reflect quality learning spaces. The cost is comparable to a pre-fab portable, but they can be built by local tradespeople.
Also at the May meeting, the committee approved Terms of Reference, and Board Vice-Chair John Cochrane will continue to chair the committee. Other members include Board Chair Jay Aspin (ex-officio), Trustee Nichole King, Trustee Rob Learn, Superintendent Gay Smylie and Capital Projects Manager Marianne Speirs.
Sub-committees have also been formed to support information-sharing and to keep the project moving in a timely manner.
Information about Near North District School Board:
Near North District School Board is an English-language public school board serving the North Bay – Parry Sound – Nipissing area. The Board consists of approximately 10,000 students in 27 elementary schools, seven secondary/senior schools and various alternative learning centres. For more information, please visit nearnorthschools.ca and follow Near North District School Board on social media.
For more information, please contact:
Near North District School Board
P. (705) 472-8170, extension 5010