Roof drainage and other improvements were made at Parkview Elementary over the summer to address moisture concerns that forced the Sicamous school’s closure in September 2019. (File photo)

Heating, flooring, other projects prepare Shuswap schools for reopening

School District #83 staff comfortable with work done at Parkview to address moisture issues

School District #83 staff are confident work completed over the summer at Parkview Elementary will have addressed concerns that forced the school’s temporary closure in 2019.

During the North Okanagan-Shuswap school district’s board meeting of Tuesday, Sept. 22, trustees received a report from director of operations Trevor Bettcher on works that occurred over the summer.

Regarding the Sicamous elementary school, which Bettcher said had been “up high on everybody’s list,” school distinct staff completed a concrete skim coat in the crawlspace and upgraded the roof drain system, both to address issues with moisture in the crawlspace.

In September 2020, the school district suspended operations at Parkview after a musty odour was detected following a rainstorm. Students were transferred to Eagle River Secondary and schools in Salmon Arm until Parkview reopened in November.

“We have a bit more work to do, probably in the spring time, but we’re feeling more comfortable there,” said Bettcher, adding a hallway floor was also replaced in the school.

Read more: School District #83 asked to partner on proposed Sicamous sports complex

Read more: Shuswap elementary school suspends operations due to ‘musty odour’

Regarding Eagle River Secondary, Bettcher said a geothermal project remains a work in progress and that he expected to have heat available for all of the classrooms by the end of September. Data rewiring work was also done at the school.

Among other work completed over the summer: a sports field upgrade at Highland Park Elementary in Armstrong, flooring and new doors at Sorrento Elementary and water lines/plumbing at North Shuswap Elementary. In Salmon Arm, work continues on the envelope upgrade (siding replacement) at South Canoe School. At Shuswap Middle School, two classrooms were renovated to address enrolment pressures related to COVID-19. The gym floor was refinished at Hillcrest Elementary and, at the Jackson campus, the music room was upgraded and a boiler replacement is underway.

Bettcher said the Jackson music room “looks fabulous.” As for the boiler upgrade, he said staff have a timeline of Oct. 9 for heating the building.

“Right now we are on schedule and we have a back up plan if anything goes sideways to get some alternate heating in there,” said Bettcher.

Another project that kept staff busy during the summer was the installation of water bottle filling stations, part of the school district’s lead mitigation program involving the replacement of water fountains. There is now at least one touchless, filtered water station at every school in the district. Plexiglass barriers were installed in offices, and continue to be installed in libraries and common-use areas.

“Lots of overtime on these initiatives to make sure things go right,” said Bettcher.

Bettcher also pointed out changes to were made with custodial work, with increased hours and enhanced cleaning protocols. Transportation also changed with enhanced student safety rules, cleaning protocols and seating plans.

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