School district keen to replace ‘high seismic risk’ Montgomery Middle; HVAC upgrade at Eagle Ridge in progress

photo supplied SD43

The fate of the estimated $90-million Montgomery Middle school replacement is in the hands of the province.

School District #43 recently recommended a full replacement of the school to the Ministry of Education, confirmed the school district’s assistant director of communications Ken Hoff.

The district is awaiting “further questions and/or funding” from the province, Hoff explained in a recent email to the Dispatch.

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“We do not have a timeline as this is controlled by the province, but we are hopeful that it will be soon,” Hoff added.

The school has been deemed a “high seismic risk,” Hoff stated.

Given the cost of upgrading the school, replacement would likely be a cheaper option, according to Hoff, who noted other problems at the middle school, including an elevator that will soon need replacing.

“It makes economic sense to replace the school rather than address the issues in the aging building,” Hoff explained.

Attendance at the school has increased sharply in recent years, rising from 306 students in 2017 to 443 students in 2023.

Best option

Earlier this year, the ministry asked School District #43 to submit its final concept plan for seismic upgrades at Dr. Charles Best Secondary.

That plan has now been submitted, according to Hoff. The school district is recommending a full seismic upgrade and a 12-room addition which would eliminate the school portables, Hoff said.

Better HVAC

The school district is also at work on HVAC upgrades at Eagle Ridge Elementary.

The district is currently on the second of three phases that, when finished, is intended to redesign the original HVAC systems for greater efficiency and cooling ability, according to Hoff.

Senior levels of government announced the $932,760 project in June.

Replacing furnaces and upgrading digital control systems is intended to improve indoor air quality, according to the release.

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