Architects get into fine details of Forest super school

BlackburnNews.com stock photo. (Courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / cecilialim)

The design process for the Forest super school is taking a little longer than anticipated and will not be ready this year.

A Kindergarten to Grade 12 school will be built just west of the Shores Recreation Centre.

The design process was initially expected to take eight to 10 months. However, Lambton Kent District School Board Superintendent of Business Operations Brian McKay said they started later than they wanted to and coordinating with the Ministry of Education is adding extra time to the process.

“[It’s] probably more now looking like a spring finish of the design documents and preparing tender documents from there, so probably more in the May [2023] time frame,” said McKay.

“I’m still hopeful that we can do a groundbreaking in 2023.”

Aside from the building itself, the design documents will include entrance and exit laneways, utility services, outdoor fields and amenities — which may include basketball or tennis courts.

“I’m seeing the architects get more into the civic design elements, more into the minutiae or the weeds of the design, which is great to see! It just shows me that we’re moving forward,” said McKay.

“As you can imagine in designing the K to 12 schools, where the architects place all of the programming needs for students from JK all the way to Grade 12, and how the flow of the school works is integral to the success of a good building.”

Potential budget impacts from the delay are unknown at this point. McKay said inflation will be the biggest impact and a cost estimate will be provided to the ministry with the design documents.