Firm chosen to design, build New Westminster elementary school

A Port Moody company has been chosen to design and build the new elementary school on the former St. Mary's Hospital site off Royal Avenue between Second and Third streets.

Yellowridge Design Build Ltd. beat out submissions from Bouygues Building Canada of Vancouver and DGS Construction from Surrey. The decision was made by a school district evaluation team.

"As a board we were not involved because of the way the design-build process is set up," said board chair James Janzen.

The proposed designs were to be revealed for input from school staff and parents at John Robson elementary on Thursday evening. The contract is expected to be finalized next month.

When the project was announced in the spring, in conjunction with approval for replacing the current John Robson elementary with a middle school after the St. Mary's one is completed, the projected cost was $13.5 million. In October, another $1.1 million was added to cover extra costs when the site turned out to be more of a challenge than originally anticipated for the three short-listed companies.

The new school will have five kindergarten rooms and 18 classrooms for grades 1 to 5 along with childcare spaces and room for family support services.

Construction is expected to start in early 2013 with a projected opening of September 2014.

Yellowridge recently completed several schools including Yarrow elementary and Rosedale elementary/middle school in Chilliwack, Westview elementary in Powell River and Alberni District secondary.

A lien of $350,000 was placed upon Yellowridge Construction by a subcontractor for the Port Alberni project in May. In addition, a two-year-old dispute with an excavation company contracted to do work in Port Alberni by Yellowbridge involving a claim of at least $1 million being owed remains unresolved. Yellowridge did not comment when contacted by Black Press on those issues earlier this year.

The process for selecting a design builder for the new middle school at John Robson is expected to begin in January. The current timeline has it being ready for students in the fall of 2015. A budget of $17.6 million for 20 classrooms that can hold about 500 students was approved by the Ministry of Education at the same time as the new elementary project was approved.

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