How York Region District School Board Schools Are Built
The York Region District School Board is committed to an aggressive and proactive Capital Construction Program. The intention of the Board is to design schools that meet the needs of students and their educational program to an optimal degree, that are both attractive and functional, and whose cost falls within the benchmark costing used to establish the Pupil Accommodation Grant of the Ontario Ministry of Education.
The Board’s Plant Services Department is responsible for overseeing the design and construction of both elementary and secondary schools. Their task begins once the planning for a school site has been approved. Upon receiving the information regarding the site location, year for the proposed school opening and school program requirements (e.g. grade levels, number of classes, French Immersion, Gifted, Special Education, computer areas, offices, washrooms, library), the Plant Services Department begins the task of designing the school facility to suit the approved program.
Here is a brief outline of the tasks and the approximate timeline involved in order to complete a school project:
Architects and Engineers: After soliciting proposals, reviewing submissions, and reporting to Property Management Committee, architects and engineers are engaged for the project. This process will take approximately 7 to 10 weeks to complete.
Site Plan Agreement: One of the most important elements of school site planning is completing a site plan agreement with the Municipality. To this end, the Plant Services Department must ensure that the following tasks are completed before the design phase can begin: topography and boundary survey, floor plans sketches, site plan development, soils testing, traffic study, storm water management, site services design, application for site plan, municipality review, conditional site plan approval, and agreement of site plan. These steps take approximately 32-35 weeks, but may take longer if one or more of these tasks are delayed.
Design Phase: While waiting the site plan agreement, the Plant Services Department begins to work on the design. Although less time consuming than the preparation for the site plan agreement, the design phase is crucial. During this phase, the working drawings are completed, the general contractors are pre-qualified and the tender documentation is prepared. This phase may take 18-20 weeks to complete.
Building Permit: After the design of the school site is complete, a building permit must be applied for from the municipality. Receiving a building permit may take 12 weeks or longer to receive depending on the length of time each municipality takes to review the building permit application.
General Contractor: With the building permit in hand, the Plant Services Department may begin the process of retaining a general contractor for the school site. This step includes issuing a tender call, closing and reviewing the tenders, preparing a Board report and receiving Board approval. This step may take 4 to 6 weeks.
Construction Phase: Following Board approval of the general contractor, the construction of the school site may begin. The construction phase takes up to one year to complete an elementary school and up to two years for a secondary school.
Post-Construction Phase: After the school is complete, the school is cleaned, furnished and prepared to be opened. This final step can take five weeks.
Visit the Board’s web site at www.yrdsb.edu.on.ca for further information regarding our Capital Construction Program and the roles of the Plant Services Department.