French school board and Yukon government strike deal

The first step in the planning phase for the construction of a francophone high school in Whitehorse is now underway.

The first step in the planning phase for the construction of a francophone high school in Whitehorse is now underway.

The Yukon government and French school board announced yesterday they had awarded a functional planning contract to Thibodeau Architecture and Design, a firm that has offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Whitehorse.

That contract includes developing space and site requirements, such as the number of classrooms in the school and the size of the gym.

It also includes establishing a preliminary construction schedule and budget for the building.

Marc Champagne, the school board’s executive director, said it’s a big step for both parties.

“For us it’s important because it’s a concrete step and it brings us closer to building a new school,” he said.

The architectural firm will also come up with a suitable construction delivery method, Champagne said, and make a recommendation.

That could be a design-build agreement where both services are contracted to a single company, like with Clark Builders and the new F.H. Collins School.

Or it could be a traditional build where the design and construction are contracted to different companies.

The planning of a francophone high school in Whitehorse has been in the works for years.

The idea of combining a high school with a community centre has been floating around since 2007, the year the school board first proposed a new high school.

Champagne presented conceptual plans of what a new school could potentially look like at the board’s annual general meeting in October.

It would include classrooms, a library, a theatre space for over 200 people and offices for Association franco-yukonnaise staff. The theatre would be available to all Yukoners.

As it stands, space is running out for high school students at Academie Parhelie.

The Grade 9-10 and 11-12 classes have been using portable classrooms for over a year.

In May 2015, the school board picked the site of Riverdale’s skate park for a future high school among three options presented by the Yukon government. If built, it would be the sixth school in Riverdale.

Education Minister Doug Graham has committed to building the school but hasn’t formally announced it would be built in Riverdale, nor has he talked about a completion date.

In an interview yesterday Graham said the site still hasn’t been finalized. “But this (contract) helps us along that road,” he added.

“We’re trying to hurry because we know it’s a real priority for them.”

No timeline has been set for the construction of the school, but a newly created construction committee has indicated it would like to see it completed by the fall of 2018, in time for the start of that school year.

Champagne said it’s still possible to stick to that timeline.

“We’ve very pleased that we’ve gotten to this stage of the process,” he said.

Work is anticipated to be complete by the end of March 2016.

At that point, the French school board needs to apply and obtain funding from Canadian Heritage to help cover the costs of the project. It also needs to apply for a development permit to the City of Whitehorse.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

The Boulevard of Hope was launched by the Yukon T1D Support Network and will be lit up throughout January. It is aimed at raising awareness about Yukoners living with Type 1 diabetes. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Boulevard of Hope sheds light on Type 1 diabetes

Organizers hope to make it an annual event

City of Whitehorse city council meeting in Whitehorse on Oct. 5, 2020. An updated council procedures bylaw was proposed at Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 18 meeting that would see a few changes to council meetings and how council handles certain matters like civil emergencies. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse procedures bylaw comes forward

New measures proposed for how council could deal with emergencies

A Yukon survey querying transportation between communities has already seen hundreds of participants and is the latest review highlighting the territory’s gap in accessibility. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Multiple reports, survey decry lack of transportation between Yukon communities

A Community Travel survey is the latest in a slew of initiatives pointing to poor accessibility

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

Most Read