Only about a week remains until kids are back in school and School District No. 46 (SD46) staff have been working all summer to ensure schools are ready for the big day.
Maintenance crews have been busy painting, fixing and installing things throughout the district while janitors have been putting in extra hours to deep clean all the schools.
Every school in SD46 had some work done this summer. All at least had their parking lot lines repainted or a freshening of hopscotch and foursquare game outlines.
Chatelech and Elphinstone Secondary schools had their gym floors redone and Pender Harbour Secondary had its portables painted, as did West Sechelt, Langdale and Davis Bay Elementary schools.
Portables that needed roof repairs were also attended to.
Elphi had the most work done during the past two months with new signs, exterior paint, a new rock retaining wall, new stairs for a portable and skirting around it, repairs to various windows and doors, new paving and hardie-plank siding installed on some portables.
“Hardie-plank is actually a concrete product from what I understand and it improves the lifespan of the exterior cladding of the school,” said Nicholas Weswick, secretary treasurer for SD46.
He said one of the district’s goals this summer was to improve the appearance and increase the lifespan of portable classrooms.
Also important to the district was finding ways to save energy, which is why heating and ventilation systems at West Sechelt Elementary School and Chatelech Secondary were addressed.
Weswick said neither system was faulty or failing, but both benefited from new controls that can turn the heat down when the schools are empty.
“The upgrades were intended to improve efficiency at the buildings and reduce our overall carbon footprint,” he said.
Now schools are painted, polished and primed for students to return on Tuesday, Sept. 4 but the kids won’t be in class for long that day.
Schools will start approximately two hours and 15 minutes later than regular on Sept. 4 and end early. Individual school start and end times are posted to the SD46 website at www.sd46.bc.ca.
For those students who bus to school, bus schedules will be altered accordingly for the first day back. Parents can find the bus stop locations and pick up times posted to the windows of their schools one week before school starts.
If you’re unsure of your stop SD46 encourages you to call the bus service directly. Those in Gibsons, Sechelt and Halfmoon Bay call 604-885-2513, while those in Pender Harbour and Madeira Park call 604-883-2040.