Modernization work at Notre Dame High School (NDHS) is progressing quickly with the school on track to have the majority of the renovations completed by September.
Officials expect the work on the six classrooms in the south wing of the school to be complete by mid April, with the classrooms down the east hallway and the new regulation sized gymnasium getting finished by August.
“Once they got all of the materials on site everything started progressing so quickly,” said Principal Pam Guilbault. “Everybody is working as hard as they can.”
With the majority of the inside of the school well on its way to being completed by the summer months, construction crews have shifted their attention to the front entrance. The entire front of the school, which includes the administration offices, is being demolished and pushed out towards the parking lot.
“As soon as the ground thaws we are going to see a lot of work in the front area of the school. They are getting ready to do the parking lot and some of the landscaping out in front,” said Guilbault. “They have a lot of demolition and rebuilding work to do.”
A lot of work will be taking place on the front entrance, as crews will only have the summer months to tear down and gut the administrative offices and rebuild them before the students arrive in the fall. That area of the school is scheduled to be complete by June.
“As soon as they can (demolish) that section they will,” said Guilbault.
If the construction goes as planned NDHS will have all of their students back on the main school grounds in September, with the majority of the classes and programs back up and running. This includes the Grade 9 students coming back from their one-year stint working out of the Centennial Centre.
“We can be assured that the Grade 9’s will be back here,” said Guilbault. “All of our students will be back at the main campus for September of 2016. We are bringing them home.”
The construction lab, which was placed in a makeshift classroom on the stage of the old gymnasium, will be back in a normal classroom as of September. The art room will be ready as well, along with a new room for the cosmetology program.
“The only classroom we won’t be able to run until February of 2017 is our Home Ec. program,” said Guilbault.
Construction will still continue on the school through the first semester of the 2016-2017 school year, as crews will move to the north end of the building. The library, band room, and open student common area are all slated to be completed January 2017. As of mid-March work on that stage of the modernization project had yet to begin.
“The end will be worth it,” said Guilbault. “As hard as it has been the students have been so resilient. The teachers have also been understanding and tolerant. We are all just so excited to see the end result.”