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Price tag swells for redeveloped Great Lakes high school

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Journal Staff

The renovation and expansion of the future Great Lakes Secondary School site will begin in coming weeks at a higher-than-expected cost.

The public school board hired Jasper Construction Corp. of Concord, Ont. last week for the second phase of the project at a projected cost of $23.4 million.

That’s about $5 million more than originally estimated.

The first phase, a $1-million demolition and asbestos abatement contract to prepare the former St. Clair high school building for reconstruction, is wrapping this week.

Education director Jim Costello acknowledged the $24.5 million price tag is higher than expected, and cited a shortage of skilled trades workers and rising material costs as factors.

“Variabilities within the construction industry are difficult to predict,” Costello said.

“While the overall cost of the project has increased, our focus remains on creating an innovative learning environment that meets the needs of current and future GLSS students.”

When complete, the school on Murphy Road will feature updated classrooms and labs, a new 600-seat auditorium, indigenous community room and better accessibility.

Trustees with the Lambton Kent District School Board voted in May of 2016 to house the amalgamated student body at the SCITS building on Wellington Street while the old St. Clair property is redeveloped.

When the 1,100 students move back to Murphy Road next September the historic SCITS building will be closed permanently.

The board has received $10.3 million from Ontario toward the project cost and will provide the rest from annual school condition improvement funds.








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