Construction continues on the new Oak Bay High school adjacent to the current school site. The first of five phases should be complete by the start of the next school year.

Oak Bay High grad leads construction of new school

Building on time and budget to meet LEED gold environmental standard

Students and staff at Oak Bay High are seeing their new school rise before their eyes.

Six months after Farmer Construction Ltd. won the design-build contract to take on the $50-million construction of the new school in June 2013, students watch from classroom windows as construction transforms the building daily. Principal Dave Thomson says excitement is in the air.

“The nice thing is we have this bird’s eye view,” he says. “We watch it every day, we have got lots of interested spectators and (we) recognize how quickly this transformation is happening.”

The current two-building system will soon be gone, amalgamated into a single 180,000-square-foot structure to be handed over by July 1, 2015, by which time the 35 to 40 construction workers on site will have tripled to approximately 120 full-time workers.

“It is one of those bitter sweet things” says Thomson. “We are excited and ecstatic to get the state-of-the-art building, but it is a bit of a tug at the heartstrings knowing how many kids and families – multi-generations that have walked through these hallways.”

Construction will take place in five phases, the first two the gymnasiums and a collection of classrooms where implementation of structural steel is expected Jan. 20. That is followed by the 420-seat theatre, main entrance, library and more classrooms. The Tech Educational Area, and the Neighbourhood Learning Centre will go up last. Once the buildings are up, both current school buildings will be replaced by a playing field, one an international-sized soccer pitch, the other a rugby field.

Despite a tight daily schedule that has seen them pour more than 1,200 metres of concrete thus far, John Scheeren of Farmer Construction Ltd., says he too was excited that they are already 20 per cent into development of the historic property – not only on schedule, but ahead of it.

“We have been fortunate with the good weather and we are running a good, efficient project here,” Scheeren says. “We are making very good progress. We are probably about a month ahead of concrete foundations right now.”

The first official hand over is expected Sept. 1, when Scheeren will turn over the gymnasium, on the Cranmore Road side, to the school for the 2014-15 school year. Only then can he begin deconstruction of the old gym to be replaced by the Tech Educational Area, the last building scheduled for construction.

Scheeren, an Oak Bay High graduate himself, who also headed construction for the new Tillicum Centre Target store, an 834-unit condo project downtown, the Westin Hotel at Bear Mountain as well as several projects at St. Michael’s University school and the University of Victoria, says the school is also on budget to meet the $50-million price tag for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standard building.

“This is my alma mater. I graduated from Oak Bay High in 1975. The opportunity to come back and build the new school is one of the most exciting projects I have ever been a part of,” Scheeren says. “(This) is the front door to the community, a lot of people drive down everyday and when the building is finished that is going to be the first thing they see. … We want it to be something we can be proud of.”



Just Posted

Former five-term mayor endorses Murdoch’s mayoral bid

Causton endorses Murdoch’s 4-Pillar Platform; invites public to ‘meet the candidate’ event

Watch for high winds today and tomorrow

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria. According to Environment… Continue reading

Oak Bay Beach Hotel ranked in the top 10 hotels in Canada by TripAdvisor

Ranked tenth among top 25 hotels in Canada for 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards

Experts to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay starting this month

Does sedated, examined, collared and ear tagged in latest phase of deer management plan

Oak Bay spreads national pride program up Island

Register now for a flag on your lawn each long weekend this summer

WATCH: Oak Bay hosts inaugural Vancouver Island Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC

Local cops drag multi-media journalists out for a swim ahead of March 11 event

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals for Canada, and men’s hockey loss

Team Canada shines on the speed skating track, but fall short against the Czechs in hockey

Air ambulance used parking lot for patient transfer because it was most efficient option

Lack of certification for helipad at Comox Valley Hospital not a factor in decision

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Port of Vancouver program examines impact of marine noise on local whales

Man-made noises can interfere with orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate with other pod members

Patrick Brown enters Ontario Tory leadership race

Despite sexual misconduct allegations Brown believes he is the right choice for the PC party

Most Read