New Pen-High Work Started

A new school year, a new school.

Work has begun on the first phase of the new Penticton Secondary School. On Wednesday, members of the Okanagan-Skaha School District voted in favour of adopting a capital project amendment bylaw which allows construction to start.

The construction contract was awarded to Graham Construction and Engineering of Kelowna who submitted the lowest bid for the project. It is estimated that the entire building will cost about $40 million.

Okanagan-Skaha School District Superintendent Gary Doi says the cost isn't fixed, but he hopes it won't fluctuate too much.

"The total project, which could take about three years to finish, is estimated to cost about $40 million, whether that fluctuates or not will depend on the next stages of tendering which will occur. We are within a budget, so if it does fluctuate, we will have to get permission from different levels to continue," says Doi.

He says the new facility will be of great benefit to the students and the community.

"In this day and age when you get such a large sum of money for a project, that means it will be around for the next 40 or 50 years and that is great," says Doi.

Phase one of the new Pen-High will contain 19 general classrooms, computer rooms, wood, metal and automotive shops as well as band, art and choral rooms. It is believed that it will take about 20 months to finish phase one. The following phases will be the demolition of much of the existing school and a rebuilding of the Shatford and Ellis buildings.

Doi says it is likely some sort of ground-breaking celebration will be held in the next few months.

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