Parents of students at KCVI received an email on Thursday, Apr. 29, 2020 telling them their children would not be moving to the new Kingston Secondary School (KSS) in the fall as previously planned.
The letter, which is signed by the Limestone District School Board’s Director of Education, Debra Rantz, and the Superintendent of Education for KCVI/KSS Family of Schools, Krishna Burra, indicates that the new school will not be opening due to delays in construction. Those delays, the school board said, are the result of halted construction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a result of emergency orders issued by the Province of Ontario, all non-essential construction was halted on April 4, 2020. We had hoped that our new school site would qualify as an essential project given its proximity to completion, and because it is indeed an essential project to us. We recently received notice that it does not meet the threshold as an essential construction project, and all work has stopped,” the letter reads.
“This is devastating news for all of us. School and board staff have been working hard these last few months making plans for the move into the KSS site from Kingston Collegiate & Vocational Institute (KCVI) and Module Vanier over the summer months with an opening for the first day of school in September 2020.”
The delay means that students and staff will remain at KCVI, including Module Vanier staff and students. The Limestone District School Board (LDSB) does not know when construction might resume, nor when a reschedule of the move from KCVI to KSS will occur, but indicated that more information on the matter will be shared as it becomes available.
A small statement on the KSS page on the LDSB website indicates staff are continuing to work and plan remotely for the eventual opening of KSS and the relocated Module Vanier.
“While this additional delay is upsetting, we also know we must do our part to follow provincial directives aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus so we can all return to normal operations as soon as safely possible. In the meantime, staff are continuing to work and plan remotely for the eventual opening of KSS and the relocated Module Vanier,” the letter concludes. “We appreciate your continued support, understanding, and patience during these challenging times.”
In late December of 2019, the LDSB told Kingstonist that construction of KSS was 86 per cent complete.
According to the latest newsletter from the LDSB about the construction of KSS, the project was 89 per cent complete in March of 2020.
“All of the concrete, masonry and metal work is complete. Mechanical and electrical work as well as carpentry work is nearing completion. Inside, doors, windows and glass work is almost finished. Work continues on specialties and finishes as well as the installation of some furnishings. Site work — work on the field, grass, common outdoor areas etc. — is about 74-per-cent complete. The contractor has been working on the sports field as weather permits,” that newsletter reads.
When asked how far along construction has come since then, Karen Smith, media relations officer for the LDSB, said the project was “at 93 per cent completion and was on track for September opening until province ordered it (and many other projects) halted.”
Kingstonist will provide more information on this situation as it becomes available.