Students in the Grade 9/10 CHAOS program will continue using another portable space at Porter Creek Secondary School as remediation work continues on the portable that had been identified for the program for the 2020/2021 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Work underway to remediate portable

CHAOS classes being held in another space

Students in the Grade 9/10 CHAOS program will continue using another portable space at Porter Creek Secondary School as remediation work continues on the portable that had been identified for the program for the 2020/2021 school year.

A window was left open on the portable Aug. 10, resulting in water damage inside, officials said. A small amount of mould was then found on a wall and subsequently in a surface sample, Jennifer Macgillivray, an assistant deputy minister for the Department of Highways and Public Works, said in a Sept. 1 interview.

Macgillivray said the portable will remain closed for two to four weeks while remediation work is done and the air will be re-tested afterwards. Only then will a decision be made on how the portable may be used in the future.

The space had been previously used for school storage.

School superintendent Paul McFadyen said while the space had been planned to house the CHAOS (Community, Heritage, Adventure, Outdoors and Skills) program, another portable at the school was available for CHAOS with all Wood Street Centre students that are at the school this year having space available for their programs.

The CHAOS program is one of several experiential high school programs typically operated out of the Wood Street Centre school downtown.

It, and other programs offered out of the Wood Street Centre, were moved from Wood Street this year to Porter Creek and F.H. Collins Secondary School, while Grade 8 F.H. Collins students were moved to the Wood Street Centre as part of the Department of Education’s measures to deal with COVID-19.

McFadyen stressed that the department recognizes the importance of the experiential programs and wanted to ensure they continued even with the changes COVID has brought. That meant finding space for the programs at other schools.

“We had to make some tough decisions,” he said.

Concerns over air quality in the portables at Porter Creek that are being used by both the CHAOS and FACES (French Achievement Challenge Environment Stewardship) programs also prompted an investigation by the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (WCB) with air quality testing being done by a third party for that investigation in the first couple of days of school.

The concerns were brought forward by the Wood Street Health and Safety committee.

Students from both programs were moved to other parts of the school while the investigation was underway.

Two of the three portables were deemed safe for occupancy while the third has been kept closed and the investigation is continuing, board spokesperson Andrew Robulack said in a Sept. 1 interview, noting he could not comment on details of the investigation when it is ongoing.

Wood Street principal Darren Hayes has posted information for families on the school’s website.

“We have moved the CHAOS program into portable P3B which has been approved for use by students and staff,” Hayes stated in an Aug. 26 update to an Aug. 20 statement about the investigation. “The test result for portable P3A (FACES space) determined that after a visual inspection including air quality tests that the space has been approved for use by students and staff.”

It goes on to note that the Yukon Workers Health and Safety Board is working with the territory on an assessment of heating, ventilation and air conditioning for all portables. The portables will also be assessed for radon as part of the efforts to ensure a safe classroom space, he noted.

“The Wood Street Health and Safety Committee members have confidence in the investigation results and appreciate the support provided by WCB. We will provide updates to our school community as further information is provided,” Hays wrote.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Yukon Department of EducationYukon Department of Highways and Public Works

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

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a public exposure warning on April 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
COVID-19 exposure notice issued for Air Canada flight

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a… Continue reading

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 9, 2021.… Continue reading

Landon Kulych, the city’s manager of parks and community development, is seen addressing city management and council about the potential e-bike bylaw earlier in 2021. First reading of the new bylaw will be considered by council April 13. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
E-bike bylaw considered

Class of bike would determine what trails they could travel

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Arpil 7, 2021.… Continue reading

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Currie Dixon, Kate White and Sandy Silver participated in an all-leaders debate on April 1, which was streamed on Zoom and Facebook live. (Facebook)
Party leaders debate priorities at First Nations candidates forum

Sandy Silver, Currie Dixon and Kate White were present at the debate on April 1

Letters to the editor
Today’s mailbox: Evironment concerns

Letters to the editor published April 1

Most Read