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Coquitlam school district fires contractor for slow work

Delays to Neigbourhood Learning Centre construction while district looks for a new contractor
Construction hoarding is still up at Centennial secondary school where work has stalled on a new Neighbourhood Learning Centre while School District 43 looks for a new builder.

School District 43 is asking for patience as it deals with construction concerns for a new Neighbourhood Learning Centre at Centennial secondary school.

The project — part of the $61 million Centennial rebuild — has been sitting idle for months while SD43 deals with various issues.

Spokesman Ken Hoff confirmed that the building contractor was terminated in April because the work was slow and a new contractor will be hired to complete the project but details still have to be worked out.

The delay has prompted SD43 to notify the community and sparked a heated Facebook exchange between Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and a local resident this past winter.

At the time Stewart was responding to complaints that no work was being done on the centre that is supposed to have a new gym, a weight room, classrooms and community space.

After pointing out that the school district, not the city is responsible for the project, Stewart said the Centennial rebuild was extremely complicated and required nine phases over a period of six years.

One of the major considerations was the Trans Mountain Pipeline, built in 1953, that bisects the property diagonally.

The mayor’s explanation about the project’s complexity has since been posted to the SD43 website.

Still, the Centennial school project has been a long one for the district, and it wasn’t until September, 2017 that most of the school’s classes moved over to the new building, two years after it was supposed to open.

Now the district has to deal with a new wrinkle and adding to the complications are legal considerations so the name of the dismissed contractor hasn’t been revealed.

In an email, Hoff explained that the district hopes to get construction underway soon at the partially-completed building.

“It is hoped that the new contractor will be in place soon and the District will be able to provide more detail on the new timeline at that time. No decisions about NLC tenants have been made aside from the City of Coquitlam’s involvement and usage,” stated Hoff.