School district considers new playing field at Cedar school

NANAIMO – Secondary school will be converted to elementary school to open in 2015.

Nanaimo school district will be looking at the addition of a new playing surface as it continues plans to convert Cedar Community Secondary School to an elementary school.

Parents expressed concerns about the playing field and in March, the school district facilities department was asked to compile a report on the possibility of a field upgrade. An update was provided at a recent business committee meeting.

Jamie Brennan, business committee chairman, said the school district is expecting bids to come in shortly and there could be options available for the board to examine by its June 25 board meeting, adding the staff report came back to the business committee early.

“They were supposed to report on the plans for the field in June but instead they came this month and told us they rolled that project into the overall conversion project so that whoever is successful will be expected to not only do the conversion of the interior of the facility but also to do the rebuilding of the play field closest to the school,” he said.

Whether it will be grass or artificial turf has not been determined. A running track could be added, according to Brennan.

The total conversion project is estimated at $2 million.

“I think there’s been some modifications in the overall program so that the costs can be contained within the original estimate,” he said. “I think some of the rooms will be closed off because the number of [full-time equivalent students] will be lower than originally anticipated but that’s not a big deal.”

The school, part of the district’s 10-years enhanced facilities for learning plan, will be renovated over the next year, opening as Cedar Elementary School in September 2015.

Woodbank Primary School and North Cedar Intermediate schools will be closed and those students will make up the body of the new Cedar school.