Those who live in the neighbour surrounding the site of the future Kingston Secondary School (KSS) have likely noticed that work has resumed on the project after construction was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, Apr. 29, 2020, parents and guardians of students at KCVI received an email letting them know that their children would not be moving to the new secondary school in the fall as planned. At the time, the Limestone District School Board’s Director of Education, Debra Rantz, cited delays in construction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, the provincial government has moved into Phase 1 of its Framework for Reopening Ontario. As Phase 1 has continued, more and more businesses and organizations have been added to the list of essential workplaces, including construction.
On Thursday, May 7, 2020, the Limestone District School Board indicated to Kingstonist that meetings would take place the following week in order to recall the tradespeople involved in the project, as well as to get protocols in place in order to comply with physical distancing regulations and provide the necessary sanitization and hygiene complements. The following week on Monday, May 11, 2020, the Board noted that some of the workers had returned to the KSS construction site. At the time, those workers accounted for approximately 40 per cent of the workforce usually on the site. The Board indicated they were continuing to work on returning the “rest of the required trades to the site,” but were unsure of a timeline at the time.
While the project is “still gearing back up after being shut down by the provincial emergency order,” Karen Smith, Communications Officer for the Limestone District School Board, said it has taken time to institute some of the new protocols and recall the various tradespeople required.
As of Wednesday, May 27, 2020, Smith reports that there are now 57 workers on site at the new school, and that the second and third floors of the building are close to being 100 per cent complete. However, this does not mean the school will be ready to open as previously planned in the fall, Smith explained.
“We are awaiting a revised schedule which we hope to have within the next few weeks,” she said in an email to Kingstonist, noting that work continues on the first floor of the building and the grounds of the school site. “However, as we shared earlier, KSS will not be open for September and students will begin the 2020-2021 school year (pending COVID restrictions) at KCVI/Module Vanier.”
The video below provides drone footage of the KSS site as of this month.