Renovations at Sarnia Christian School expected to start soon

Sarnia Christian School on Exmouth Street. May 2016. Photo from the schools Facebook page)

Delayed renovations at Sarnia Christian School will cost more than anticipated due to higher lumber prices.

Plans to start phase two of the school’s renovation project were announced back in 2019. However, a lot has changed since then.

Principal Len Smit said the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the upgrades and expansion of two new kindergarten classrooms and a common eating area.

“The fencing is up. [Construction] was supposed to start last year but COVID kind of set everything back so we’re hoping to break ground next week,” said Smit.

A timeline has not been finalized but Smit said they’re hoping renovations will be complete by September 2022.

The expansion was initially estimated to cost $800,000 but that cost is now predicted to be around $1 million.

“At this point though, we’re going to start and see how close we are to what we originally thought and we will either take a small mortgage or go ask for more funds from our supporters,” he said.

The delay does come as a disappointment for staff but Smit said they’re still excited to eventually see the completed project.

“Our [Junior Kindergarten] teacher just retired. We were hoping that she would have had a year in the new classrooms, however, life does go on and we’re just in this weird uncertain time,” he said. “Slow is better than rushing things and we look forward to having the new space for our students.”

Plans for the classrooms include allowing more natural light, creating more space, updating washrooms, and upgrading counters to accommodate small children.

Smit said the existing kindergarten room was one of the first classrooms built. The independent school has been in Sarnia for nearly 70 years.