Crews working on the demolition of the old F.H. Collins High School last year discovered more contamination than expected. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Construction of Whitehorse French high school won’t start until 2019: documents

Plans were delayed when contaminated soil was found under the old F.H. Collins site last year

Construction on the new francophone high school in Riverdale won’t start until May 2019 with an expected completion date of November 2020.

That’s according to new details released as part of the Yukon socio-economic assessment process.

The territory’s assessment board began its public consultation period on the project on Jan. 29. Public comments are being accepted until Feb. 12

The school was originally supposed to be completed by the end of 2019. It is being built on the site of the old F.H. Collins High School

Building in Riverdale is what the francophone community has been asking for and it also means the government can take advantage of some of the infrastructure that is already in place, according to the documents filed with the assessment board.

Plans for the French high school were delayed when contaminated soil was found under the old school last year. The mess was caused by a leaking heating system. No one knows how long the old system had been leaking before it was removed.

The excavation of 3,800 cubic metres of contaminated soil was completed last September. The cleanup cost the government $1.8 million.

According to the documents filed with the assessment board Jan. 2, there is still some hydrocarbon contamination in the groundwater. “The physical extend of this contamination is not yet known,” the document said. More monitoring wells are slated to be installed “in the new year,” it says.

Once Environment Yukon knows the extent of the contamination, it will decide what to do next. The contamination could be treated or left to break down.

The plan is to install a hydrocarbon-resistant membrane under the foundation of the new school to protect students and teachers, the document says.

No one from either the departments of education, environment, or highways and public works was able to provide the News with updated information on the public project in time for today’s deadline.

The territory originally earmarked $20 million for the project. The federal government also contributed $7.5 million from its minority language education program.

The school is being built after the French school board sued the territorial government for failing to meet its charter obligations to francophones.

With files from Jackie Hong

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon COs kill 3 bears attracted to ‘waste’ stored at Whitehorse junkyard

‘If it can smell like food (a bear is) on it, and it’s happening all over the place.’

YG bars Dawson City’s retired dentist from providing emergency services

Government can’t get its story straight over why Helmut Schoener can’t use hospital dental suite

Fox family in Whitehorse neighbourhood could face removal this fall

‘The foxes have been here a lot longer, and we’re the invader’

Kaska Dena Council in court over hunting licences

‘Consultation is not a “the more the merrier” proposition’

Great Northern Tournament returns for fourth medieval combat event

‘Every year it grows a little more and we get a little better at it’

Chilkat Challenge Triathlon holds second race

Dozens of racers paddled, biked and ran from Mosquito Lake to Chilkat State Park

YESAB report urges traffic lights at Alaska Highway intersection

Lower speed limits suggested ahead of new gas station construction

Yukon government denies it owes substitute teachers unpaid wages

The Department of Education filed responses July 5 to five lawsuits launched against it by substitute teachers

Some women won the marriage lottery in the Klondike

Others did not fare so well in love

The wonderful world of Airbnb Whitehorse

Wonderful for tourists and homeowners at least. Renters? Not so much

Yukon researcher contributes to climate change adaptation report

‘We really worked to weave consideration of different ways of knowing through the report’

Whitehorse singer Sarah MacDougall’s new record sounds like scenery

‘Just getting out of town slightly, you can see a lot of beauty’

Most Read