On Tuesday, October 13th, the Steering committee visited Burnaby Central Secondary. Burnaby Central is an urban setting with limited space. The school is being rebuilt on the same site as the existing school, much the same as CSS will be. Construction began in August 2009 and the school will eventually enroll 1300 students. The Design Build model is being utilized, again the same as CSS, and the construction site begins right outside the main entrance to the old school. $50 million dollars is budgeted for the construction of the new school. The school is scheduled to be completed in September of 2011. The new school can only be finished when the gym in the old school is torn down due to space limitations. There is a full time project manager on site and both he and the school Principal gave the tour. Construction on the site has severely limited parking for staff and students. This problem is mitigated by the excellent public transit system in place. The school has used the Design Build process to leverage extra gym space in the new building. The school playing fields constitute a large part of the construction site and the school has arranged to use nearby community fields in the meantime. The school continues to offer its full range of programs so as students are not being negatively impacted as a result of the construction. The building team has done a good job of keeping the construction site neat and well kept. Although this will be a new school for Burnaby Central, some areas in the new school will be smaller. The new school is being constructed to emphasize some special programs like teaching kitchens which have access to a multi-purpose area for banquets and other events. The facility will see more sharing of classrooms by teachers and teachers will be using a classroom rather than owning a classroom. The school is engaged in a very complete inventory of resources to determine which equipment will be cost effective to replace and which needs to be retained and moved. The staff is being careful to determine that equipment that will be transferred will fit into its new space. The administration keeps track of time lines to make sure programs are prepared to move when the plan requires it. While many areas of the new building will be smaller, some areas, like science labs will be larger to accommodate current legislated size issues. Build into the design of the new school will be natural light, which will be an important feature. The school is going to utilize geothermal heating and all classrooms will have interior windows.
For more photos of Burnaby Central click here.