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News archive for January 29, 2013

School project tender deadline extended

The deadline for tenders on the F.H. Collins Secondary School reconstruction project has been extended by one month, to Feb. 26, at the request of industry.

By Ainslie Cruickshank on January 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm

photo

Photo by Whitehorse Star

Cynthia Tucker

The deadline for tenders on the F.H. Collins Secondary School reconstruction project has been extended by one month, to Feb. 26, at the request of industry.

The extension will not impact the expected completion date, Cynthia Tucker, the assistant deputy minister of public works, told a press conference this morning.

The school should still be completed by the fall of 2015.

“We’ve chosen to go ahead with the extension to allow for better pricing, and we think we’ll get a better project overall longer-term to do that,” said Tucker.

“There’s a series of things that happen in tenders of this magnitude,” she said. Those include requests for product changes that must go through an approval process.

“What we hope by entertaining that process is that we get a better product at a reasonable price with the best outcome possible in the time frames.”

The tender deadline for the project management has also been extended to Feb. 26.

The government opted for outside project management to ensure there’s a team with diverse experience and expertise focused specifically on the reconstruction.

“We don’t have that expertise on staff because we don’t do projects of this scope and magnitude on a regular basis,” said Tucker.

The government is also in discussions with the F.H. Collins school council surrounding possible use of the school gym beyond March 1.

Tucker said, for example, if the contractor does not need access to the gym until April 1, officials want to give the school the opportunity to continue using the gym.

The F.H. reconstruction project caused a fair bit of controversy as students and parents raised concerns late last year regarding plans that could have seen the school go without a gym for two years.

A student protest in the legislature raising the issue in 2012 received national media attention.

Since then, the government has announced a temporary gym structure will be constructed for use during reconstruction, assuming a successful bid is received.

The new school, budgeted at $55 million, will replace the current building, which opened in 1963.

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