Prince Edward school board learns details, gets renovation timeline

Published 8:47 am Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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We now have a bit more of a timeline in place for the elementary renovation project. Members of Moseley Architects came and spoke to the Prince Edward school board on Wednesday, April 10, showing their first drawings of the new facility and attaching dates to construction phases. 

To be clear, when we refer to Moseley Architects, we’re talking about the group hired to develop the plans for Prince Edward Elementary’s $43.3 million renovation. Right now, Moseley staff are collecting bids for temporary classroom installation and utility work. The plan, Stephen Halsey said, is to bring a recommendation on which bid to select back to the school board’s Wednesday, May 8 meeting. Halsey serves as head of Moseley Architects’ K-12 group, which handles school projects. Then they would work to have those temporary classrooms ready to go by July 19. 

“(That’ll) provide a little over two weeks before we start school Aug. 5,” Halsey said. “Everything will be hooked up (by July 19). The only thing we’ll need to do is move instructional materials over. Furniture’s going to be in those spaces, technology will be in those spaces. It’s really going to be no different than coming back to your classroom after summer.” 

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The plan calls for 15 temporary classrooms this fall, with four additional module units used as student toilets and one final module as a teacher workspace. 

Then, once the temporary classrooms are in place, a request for construction bids will be advertised in July, with the goal of getting them back in August. 

“The plan is to come to the first school board meeting in September with a recommendation to award (the bid),” Halsey said. “Then (we) get a contractor mobilized and get construction started really the second, third week in September.” 

Prince Edward school board

A look at some of the renderings for the planned Prince Edward Elementary renovation. Photos courtesy of Moseley Architects.

When will pick up/drop off change? 

Another big question the board members had involved drop off and pick up. For the upcoming school year, nothing changes. You’ll still be dropping off and picking up your student the same way in August as you do now. Halsey also assured board members that parents won’t be losing any parking space this coming school year, due to construction. The changes in that area, he explained, won’t happen for another year. 

“The idea is (that) summer of 2025 will be the summer that all that new drop off/pick up loop is done,” Halsey said. “(That) coincides with the completion of the new main front door and library. And after that, all the construction is interior at that point. We’ll still have students in those mobile classrooms but the dropoff loop (will be) done at that point.”  

He’s referring to the fact the elementary school’s front entrance will be relocated by July 2025, getting traffic off Eagle Drive and creating a loop that makes both drop-off and pick-up easier for parents, students and staff. 

Once construction starts, the project involves demolishing the two oldest buildings at the elementary school. In their place will be new construction connecting the remaining buildings, making it much easier to travel between classrooms. It also involves more seating options, bigger classrooms in some cases and more options for hands-on learning, all of which were asked for by parents and staff during the community meetings in 2023. 

Prince Edward school board learns end date

Halsey said as it stands, his group still expects the total construction to take about 30 months, finishing up around March of 2027. But he’s also willing to listen to suggestions. 

“If our successful low bidder has a more efficient way to navigate the project, then we’ll certainly entertain all that as well to minimize disruption,” Halsey told the board.