New high school in Alberni an absurd waste

Carson Graham school cost $20 million less to build than Alberni and they did it on the school existing lot - what's up with that?

To the Editor,

In response to the fact that the new Carson Graham secondary School in North Van cost at least $20 million less than the new Alberni District Secondary School, Doug Stewart, Director of Capital Management with the Ministry of Education, told me that the former is only a partial replacement.

However, he refers specifically to “municipal and offsite requirements” for ADSS because the building was “not built on an existing site” as was Carson Graham, leading to the obvious question of why the new ADSS wasn’t built on the site of the old ADSS.

Instead a location was chosen which was too small and which has creeks flowing through a swamp, making it not the best site for geothermal heating, to say nothing of putting buildings on top of it.

In my opinion, the Trillium consultants still employed by SD 70 contributed nothing of value to the project.

The old ADSS was deliberately not maintained in its last years, making the case for its replacement stronger. And transferring construction to a new site was balmy and irresponsible.

Why the old library isn’t being retained as a new centre for Vast is beyond me.

Also, although it would require a fourth wall, the band room at the rear of the old auditorium was built recently and is in excellent condition.

And, of course, many people in this community favour retaining the old auditorium and its nearly 1,000 seats.

Moreover, the new “neighborhood learning centre” added $9 million to the cost of the new ADSS. A needed addition?

The whole project was a total waste of money and resources during a period in which the province is experiencing a critical shortage of money.

Richard Berg,

Port Alberni

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