Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for February 20, 2014

School takes step forward

The Yukon government has signed an Intent to Award letter to Clark Builders for the new F.H. Collins Secondary School.

By Whitehorse Star on February 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm

The Yukon government has signed an Intent to Award letter to Clark Builders for the new F.H. Collins Secondary School.

The company’s bid to replace the current 51-year-old school on the same Riverdale site is $31,138,889.

Construction is anticipated to begin this spring, with expected completion by the fall of 2015.

“When we opened the bids, we were pleased all bidders were within our estimated budget,” said Highways and Public Works Minister Wade Istchenko.

“We have now selected the lowest bidder in the tender process as our successful contractor, and we are moving towards construction of the new school with a proven design and a capable and qualified contractor.”

Clark Builders began operating in Yellowknife in 1974. Several years later, the company moved its headquarters to Edmonton and continues to maintain its Yellowknife office

It now has more than 1,100 employees in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. The company has undertaken numerous construction projects in rural and remote areas throughout northern Canada.

“Clark Builders strongly believes that our success lies in part with the ability to work with local businesses and provide employment in the communities we work in,” said Paul Verhesen, the company’s president and CEO.

“We are excited about the local partnerships we have formed, and our goal is to offer opportunities for employment for residents of Whitehorse. We love being a part of building a better, more sustainable future for Canada’s North.”

The new school will be more than 7,400 square metres and will accommodate up to 750 students.

The building will be designed with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles; it will be two storeys high with the gym centrally situated and classrooms located on the outside walls to maximize light.

The school will include an industrial kitchen, a cafeteria, large science labs, a First Nations elders’ space and language labs, and a variety of learning spaces to meet the entire school community’s needs.

The Yukon Chamber of Commerce said it’s pleased with the development.

“This time last year, tender responses for construction of a replacement high school had ranged from $48 million to $60 million, all over the Yukon government’s budget of $38.6 million,” said interim chair Richard Thompson.

“While we have concerns that the re-scoping and rebidding process for F.H. Collins caused hardship for those businesses involved in the initial tender response process, we are certainly pleased to see that the rebidding process has resulted in a project that will save Yukon taxpayers almost $17 million compared to the last round of bids, while still delivering the product that is required for the students. ”

“We applaud the Yukon government’s efforts to ‘right size’ this project and are confident that the project will yield substantial partnership, employment and business opportunities for Yukon businesses and workers,” said chamber chair Peter Turner.

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