Contingency planning, Easthill Elementary School

Contingency planning for Easthill Elementary School
Posted on 03/03/2023

March 3, 2023—An update about construction of the new Easthill Elementary School was the focus of a town hall meeting last night. Easthill Elementary School (EES) is under construction on the site of Queen Elizabeth School on Macdonald Avenue in east Belleville. Once ready, it will consolidate students from two schools: Queen Elizabeth School and Queen Victoria School.

Recently construction has fallen behind schedule and school board staff are seeking input from the school community about options if the contractor is unable to complete the work on time. As of now, the school is scheduled to open for the start of school in September 2023.

“The meetings with school staff and families yesterday were a way for us to provide an update on construction and hear about what is important to them if a contingency plan is needed,” said Kristen Niemi, Superintendent of Education. “During both meetings, staff and families asked thoughtful questions and shared their perspectives. All of that will assist senior staff in making the best possible decisions for students, families and staff,” she added. Construction timelines, contingency plan options, along with floor plan layouts and aerial photographs were shared at a meeting with staff from the two schools in the afternoon and at the town hall later that evening.

Contingency plans in case the new school is not ready for September 2023

School board staff are planning for contingency options in case construction of the new school continues past September 2023.
Staff and families from the two school communities can provide feedback on the following options presented at the meetings:

How should the students be organized before moving into Easthill Elementary School?

  • Combine the students from the beginning and place them at Queen Elizabeth School and Queen Victoria School.
  • Combine the students from the beginning and place them at Queen Victoria School and another school.
  • Keep the students separated at Queen Elizabeth School and Queen Victoria School (like they are this year).

 When should the students and staff  be moved into Easthill Elementary School?

  • As soon as it is possible after construction is completed.
  • After a natural break (e.g., January 2024).
  • September 2024.

Large projects like this involve a variety of factors that feed into decision-making, including financials, staffing, student transportation, construction variables (scheduling and demolition), occupancy approvals and advance work to be done by school board Facility Services, and Information and Technology Services staff before students and staff can move in.

Once the feedback is received, senior staff will complete a detailed cost-benefit analysis about the various options. A contingency plan will be finalized and communicated in April.