Zenny Cepele from Alba Painting in Langley gives Hope secondary a fresh coat of deep blue paint in preparation for the new school year. Crews were also busy renovating the school’s interior, and creating a new basketball court. (Jessica Peters/ Black Press)

Fresh paint, asbestos removal top of school’s summer maintenance list

School district focused heavily on renovating Hope secondary school over the summer

Hope secondary is sporting a fresh new look for the new school year.

A palette of blues and greys have replaced the old red paint outside, and the face lift extends to the interior as well. The school was the main focus of summer maintenance upgrades, says Doug Templeton, the Fraser Cascade School District’s director of facilities and transportation.

The district is divided into five sections for these types of upgrades, and planned work rotates through those sections so that work is done on each site every five years. This summer saw improvements at Hope secondary, Boston Bar elementary and Agassiz elementary secondary.

“Hope secondary is the school that we focused on this year,” Templeton says. “So at that particular site, we’ve done a complete paint of the exterior and we’re in the process of doing asbestos abatement in all the flooring.”

All of the main hallways have already had the asbestos removed, as well as some of the classrooms. He says that the rest of the classrooms will be taken of by Christmas.

“At that site we’ve replaced all the rooftop units on the school, replaced the dust collector from the shops,” Templeton says. “In totality we probably are spending $1 million on Hope secondary.”

That includes paving upgrades and renovations inside, including both the staff room and art room.

And if that doesn’t excite students as they head back to class, what’s outside just might. A new basketball and ball hockey court has been added to the grounds, increasing the opportunity for activities outside.

Karen Nelson, superintendent of schools for Fraser Cascade, says the hard work being done at Hope secondary and other sites this summer has been incredible.

“Maintenance staff, under the direction of Doug Templeton, Director of Facilities and Transportation, have worked tirelessly over the summer to provide the necessary facility upgrades and to ensure that all school district sites are clean and safe for the return of students and staff on the first day of school,” she says. “We truly appreciate all of the hard work that is completed by our maintenance staff, not only during the summer, but each and every day of the year.”

The funding for the upgrades each year comes from the annual facilities grant that each district receives.

Agassiz elementary secondary received a partial mechanical upgrade on their boiler unit, and all rooftop units were replaced. They have also been connected to the municipal water service. The school has also recently had a complete LED lighting upgrade, Templeton said.

In total, AESS has received about $800,000 in upgrades this year. Harrison Hot Springs elementary will also be removed from its well-water source within the next month and connected to that municipality’s water service.

And up in Boston Bar, the elementary school has had new playground equipment installed and a renovated basketball court.

Templeton says the district breaks up the work among schools each year to focus efforts in just a few locations, and to avoid disrupting too many sites at once.

“We come back to each school every five years,” he says.

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