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Contract awarded to upgrade field at Cedar school

Nanaimo school district has awarded a civil works contract to Superior Excavating Ltd. for a new playground and playfield on the Cedar Community Secondary School site.

The school will be converted to an elementary school as part of the district’s 10-year facilities plan and the civil works contract will total approximately $630,000. While the playground’s $313,000 cost is covered in the Cedar project budget, the field is not, meaning $361,600 will come from the district’s local capital reserve to pay for it.

The field will be grass and the school district wants to begin work as soon as possible in order to seed the field so that the grass is established by the time the school opens in September 2015.

The tender saw four bids and Jamie Brennan, school trustee and business committee chairman, said Superior was chosen as it was the lowest bid.

“The current field is under water much of the year and they’re going to have to raise the level and provide a good system of drainage, so those are the practical considerations,” said Brennan.

Hen said the main reason parents wanted an upgraded field was the current field was thought to be too far from the school.

“We’re talking about an elementary school … so for security reasons the parents were wanting the field to be closer to the main school building,” said Brennan.

Teachers across the province are currently on strike, but Brennan said there would be discussions with the Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association as well as the CUPE local asking them to refrain from disruption.

Mike Ball, teachers’ association president, said there is a low probability of teachers blocking work.

“It is unlikely that we will hinder a contractor, but the site may well be picketed at times,” Ball wrote in an e-mail.

There will be an exercise path around the field, likely composed of crushed gravel.

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