News Local

School building ready to go to tender

By Roberta Bell, Orillia Packet & Times

The Catholic school board is going ahead with plans to find a contractor to rebuild Monsignor Lee School, which has recently been demolished.

Dianne Legg, communications director for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDB), said the new $10.4-million, 41,500-square-foot school, set to accommodate 350 students from both Monsignor Lee and Guardian Angels, is on track for completion in late 2012.

The old Monsignor Lee building was taken down by Pro Green demolition in September and Legg said the cleanup is expected to be done "fairly soon."

Monsignor Lee students are attending classes in the former Hillcrest Public School building, while Guardian Angels students will continue to attend classes in their West Street school on church property until the new school is ready.

In the meantime, the City of Orillia is drawing up the site plan agreement necessary to give the contractor awarded the job the go-ahead, Legg said.

"Once we have our site plan approval from the City of Orillia, then we'll be able to move ahead with the new construction," Legg said, adding she believes the contract will be tendered at the end of October and close in mid-November.

Legg said one of the biggest changes will be the addition of a chapel, which neither the old Monsignor Lee nor Guardian Angels had.

The chapel will be named after Guardian Angels, Legg said, while the school will remain Monsignor Lee.

The new building will be much more spacious, Legg said, adding the library, gymnasium and classrooms will all be larger and brighter.

"For the full-day kindergarten, the Ministry of Education has specified larger class space," Legg said, "We'll be able to do that in this new school."

The new school is going to be more environmentally friendly and will include energy-efficient windows and doors, daylight and occupancy sensors on interior lighting, carpeting free of volatile organic compounds (VOC), low-VOC paints and interior wood, low-toilets, drought-resistant landscaping and bicycle parking for students and staff.

rbell@orilliapacket.com



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