Construction continues at South Ridge, new school

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Construction workers at South Ridge Public School are racing the weather trying to complete as much as possible on the new addition before winter sets in.

Walls for four new classrooms, the new gym and change rooms have gone up.

"Right now we're working on the gymnasium – we're hoping to have it done in February," said TVDSB project coordinator Paul Schepens on site Thursday morning.

The plan, when the new gym is completed, is to take the old gym and renovate it into a library, and once that is done, move the old library into the new library. The old library will be converted into a music room.

South Ridge, which held an official construction kickoff ceremony on Friday, Oct. 3, is undergoing an expansion which will allow the school to accommodate up to 400 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. For the first time in the school's history, starting in 2015, Grade 6 students will not be moving to another school for Grade 7-8, rather they will complete their elementary school education with classmates at South Ridge, many who will have been together since Kindergarten.

"We're on schedule for the fall," said Schepens. "We're trying to get as much blockwork done now while the weather cooperates."

When colder weather moves in, it takes longer for each wall to go up, and is more expensive allowing for tents, enclosures and heating.

"It probably takes three times longer to build the same wall when it gets cold. There's so many measures you have to do.

"The plan is in February to turn this (new gym) back to the school."

Construction is also continuing at the new unnamed Tillsonburg Public School on Quarter Town Line where the goal is to have a roof on it by Christmas.

"It's really taking shape," said Schepens.

"That's half the battle... to beat the elements."

chris.abbott@sunmedia.ca

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