LKDSB Board Office (Blackburnnews.com Photo)

Contract Awarded For Forest Super School

A Chatham area architect will create the blueprints for the new kindergarten to Grade 12 school in the Forest area.

ROA Studio Inc. has been awarded the contract to design, tender and build the new school that will consolidate students from Aberarder Central, Bosanquet Central, Kinnwood Central and North Lambton Secondary Schools.

Lambton Kent District School Board Superintendent of Business Brian McKay says it’s a long-term project, spanning two to three years from this stage.

“We have to obviously consult with all of our stakeholders, from students, staff, parents, community members… anybody who would be involved in the building,” says McKay. “We want to get their feedback, that’s part of the design, so that can cause the design of the building itself to stretch into a six to eight-month time frame.”

He says once the overall design is complete, it will have to be approved by the Ministry of Education before requesting tenders.

“The hope is to be out for tender on the job during the 2018-2019 school year and then building normally takes two years once we break ground,” he says.

McKay says a site has yet to be locked down.

“No decision on the site yet,” he says. “We continue to work with the Ministry of Education. They are very much involved in that process and ultimately they give final approval.”

The board has land at Kinnwood Central and where North Lambton Secondary sits right now.

However, part of the land at the high school can’t be developed because it’s in a flood zone and protected by the St. Clair Conservation Authority.

But, McKay says other properties are being considered as well.

“Yes, we’re looking at other areas,” he says. “There is the desire in the community for the school to be close to the recreation centre in Forest, so that area is obviously part of our research.”

The provincial government has committed 100% of the cost of the build, amounting to $27.4-million. The potential purchase price for land is not included.