Robert Service School in Dawson City will be a bit more full this school year after two of the school’s portables were decommissioned due to mould discovered in July. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Robert Service School loses portables to mould ahead of the new school year

Programs won’t be interrupted

The only two portables at Robert Service School have been decommissioned because of mould.

“They’re done,” said Chris Stacey, superintendent for the Dawson City school.

“There were no signs of mould until a worker cut into a wall or ceiling. It was in the best interest of everybody, as a precaution, to take those classrooms out right away.”

Classes, which start later this month, will go ahead, Stacey said.

The two programs housed in the portables, one for students requiring individualized supports and the Individual Learning Centre, will be moved into the school.

Roughly 15 students make up these programs.

“This is going to be on a short-term basis,” said Stacey, noting that a community meeting is planned next month.

It’s unclear at this point what the long-term plans are.

The mould was discovered in July during renovation work, Stacey said.

“Soon after it began, it was discovered there was mould in the classroom. We’re just working as fast as possible and just had to make a quick decision.”

A letter sent to the school and signed by Stacey says that the Yukon Department of Education committed to upgrading the portables and that it was in the cards to follow through with this in time for the upcoming school year.

“This was not an issue we anticipated,” it says. An apology to the community follows.

For more than two years the Yukon Party has been trying to get the Liberals to act on bringing new or additional portables to the school, said education critic Scott Kent.

“We heard concerns from parents in the community,” he said, adding that they were brought to the floor of the legislative assembly in 2017.

“They (the Liberals) seem to drag their feet and not take any action. We’re in this unfortunate position right now where there’s a loss of learning space.”

While the safety of students is of course the priority, said Kent, seasonally-dependent contracts should have been tendered in March so that portables could have been ready in time.

“There’s nothing more seasonal than having something ready for the school year. For this to be found so late in the game and essentially giving 11 days notice for the parents with respect to the loss of these learning spaces shows the Liberals and the Department of Education have dropped the ball on getting tenders out …” he said.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

What the ‘new normal’ looks like for now

As the Yukon slowly reopens, this is what it looks like at restaurants and other businesses

Many continue to opt for take-out as dining rooms reopen

City considers options for more patio space

Yukon government suspends phone program for vulnerable women after data overage issues

The Yukon government suspended service without warning last month to cell phones… Continue reading

Campgrounds reopening June 4

Yukoners are asked to stick to their “double-bubble” households, respect social distancing… Continue reading

Yukon government has valid claim in Wolverine mine bankruptcy, judge rules

“This application arises because of an irresponsible mining venture in the Yukon”

City tickets 50 on day one of return to parking meter enforcement

A total of 50 parking tickets were issued June 1 by the… Continue reading

Driver charged in 2019 Whitehorse pedestrian death

A driver has been charged in relation to the 2019 death of… Continue reading

Council holds off on designation decision for portion of the tank farm

Decision comes in light of notice of violation to project proponent

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. June… Continue reading

Pilot Station salmon sonar to go ahead this season

The Pilot Station sonar, located near the mouth of the Yukon River… Continue reading

Renovations start at LePage Park

The Yukon Historical and Museums Association has started a resurfacing project for… Continue reading

Contract awarded for mixed-income housing project

The Yukon government has awarded a $16.8-million contract to build the mixed-income… Continue reading

Most Read