SD71 has undertaken an ambitious summer scope of work at Lake Trail to prepare the school for seismic upgrades. Scott Stanfield photo

Seismic upgrades on horizon at Courtenay school

When construction is complete, a seismically upgraded Lake Trail Middle School will include a new wing, teacher collaboration rooms, gender neutral washrooms and a standalone child care facility.

And the Lake Trail Community School Garden will remain in place.

School District 71 has retained Heatherbrae Builders to update some of the older sections of the school to accommodate students before beginning seismic upgrades in the fall. Workers have added additional exiting and an accessible washroom, and converted the former fitness/multi-purpose space into classrooms.

The district will be closing off about 25 per cent of the school while the new wing is built.

“There’s going to be a hard wall up in the hallway,” said Ian Heselgrave, director of operations at SD71. “We have to demolish a bit of the old building at the beginning, and then we start on building this brand new wing, which is the bulk of the new school. We’re building off the gymnasium, essentially, and some reconfiguring out in front of the gym. We’re going to have a great school.”

Lake Trail was built in the 1950s, and underwent various additions in subsequent years. In 1999, the gym and four classrooms were built.

“They’re all seismically sound,” Heselgrave said. “The goal is to have that complete for June of 2021. As the kids leave, we’ll demolish the section they’re in now.”

Most of the new school will be “pushing over towards Puntledge behind the gym,” he added. The finished product will be a little smaller than the current structure.

“That’s quite typical,” Heselgrave said, noting older schools often had wasted or inefficient space, with long hallways and oversized classrooms. “The new design, you tend to stack. You’re much more efficient with your space.”

The Ministry of Education has committed $26.2 million toward the upgrades, and the Comox Valley board of education $1 million.

Within the next week, the district expects final approval from the ministry to proceed to tender for the full project. Construction is anticipated to start late October/early November.

The child care facility will be about 205 square metres, likely to be located close to the Willemar/Lake Trail intersection. The district is still working with the community to determine the greatest areas of need.

Just Posted

Stage 3 water restrictions in the Comox Valley beginning September 3

Restrictions in effect until Sept. 27 for BC Hydro scheduled maintenance

Fanny Bay Challenge asks visitors to support businesses during highway closure

Community rallies as part of Highway 19A closes for six weeks due to culvert project

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society monthly update

More than 170 birds and mammals brought to Merville centre in July

Courtenay man acquitted of manslaughter

Court accepts accused Jonathan Billy’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Business owner blasts council about cantilever option

At the Aug. 19 meeting, downtown business owner Michael Gilbert chastised Mayor… Continue reading

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

Most Read