Construction on the new Maryland Park School is more than halfway done and on schedule, according to the new school’s principal.
Principal Barbara Miller gave the Brandon School Division board of trustees a progress update at Monday’s meeting.
Miller is an experienced principal, having completed respective six-year terms at Alexander and King George schools before taking the helm at Maryland Park.
Approximately 60 per cent of work has been completed, she said. That includes 99 per cent of masonry being completed, 80 per cent of cladding insulation installed, 100 per cent of the insulation in the gymnasium installed and 95 per cent of steel studs put in the daycare.
Windows have just arrived at the site and will be 99 per cent installed by the end of this week. One window broke in transit and will have to be reordered. The school’s elevator will arrive at the construction site in February.
"I’m really happy that the construction is on schedule," BSD chairperson Linda Ross said. "That’s a really big deal. I’ve been through construction projects before and I know that they very often fall behind schedule."
"I think in construction projects this size you always anticipate they’re going to fall off the timeline, and this one’s been on schedule from the get-go," Supt. Marc Casavant said.
Last fall, Miller said she visited the recently opened school in Winkler and a new school in Winnipeg opening at the same time Maryland Park is and spoke to her colleagues about how their plans have gone and what lessons they’ve learned.
"Each context is unique and I think success is dependent on the people that are working collaboratively together to make it happen," Miller said about her biggest takeaway from those visits. "It’s a team effort."
There are 354 students from grades 1 through 8 registered to attend the school when it opens for the 2020-21 school year. Grade 1 leads the pack with 59 students currently registered to attend.
The division expects between 400 and 420 students to be registered when the school opens in September. Kindergarten registration still has to take place, with an informational meeting happening at Crocus Plains on Jan. 20.
An estimated 40-55 kindergarten students are expected to enrol.
A handout provided by Miller said that 28 families in the new school’s catchment area will file paperwork for their kids to remain at their current school.
In the upcoming weeks, the school will be working with students to choose school colours, design a logo and pick a mascot.
What equipment and supplies will be available to teachers is a bit more uncertain at this point, with the budget for the school still being decided and grant applications still in process.
However, the division has started to order books for the library at Maryland Park. Miller said that teacher-librarians across the division submit their top 100 books to provide guidance on what to buy.
The process of hiring teachers is being handled with the help of the principals of King George, George Fitton and Riverheights schools.
Job openings will be posted at the end of January, with some teachers being reassigned and others competing for any remaining unfilled positions.
The only staff member other than Miller hired for Maryland Park at this point is administrative assistant June Roziere, who was hired on Jan. 6.
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