After nearly a decade of sitting empty, the old 100 Mile Junior Secondary School building will be demolished this fall.
Alex Telford, School District 27’s manager of facilities and transportation, said they got approval from the board and a sizeable grant from the Ministry of Education to demolish the school. It was originally closed due to “failing systems” in the building, including roofing, the alarm system, sprinkler system and the failure of two boilers, which would have been a huge expense to maintain and fix up.
Over the years, the school has also been subject to vandalism and attempted squatters, which influenced the decision, he said. A full hazard assessment will be conducted by Peak Environmental Services to make sure the district knows what they’re dealing with. The school, built before 1980, has asbestos in it, which becomes a hazard when removed and turned to dust.
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“The school district’s capital request, the replacement of 100 Mile Elementary is our number one capital request with the ministry,” Telford said. “It was built in 1948 and is getting a little long in the tooth, parts of it.”
Superintendent Chris van der Mark said Telford and his team had sought to obtain the grant as the cost of demolition was much higher than expected. Van der Mark added in its current state the building is not usable or sellable and is a liability in its current state.
The contract for the demolition and hazardous materials removal has been awarded to Napp Enterprises out of Prince George, Telford said. They’ll salvage what they can out of the building before the exterior demolition is undertaken.
The project’s completion date is set for the end of March 2021, though Telford said they anticipate it will most likely be done by early January. No visible changes will happen initially, he said, during the hazard abatement but the community will eventually see an excavator bringing the building down.
Telford said the decision about what to do with the land is up to the board, which he said has been talking with the District of 100 Mile House. With enough capacity at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary, he added there’s no plan to build a new secondary school.
Van der Mark added community consultation will be conducted to determine options for the future of the site. He hopes to ultimately use it in a way that will benefit children within SD27.