Major work needed to fix siding on Revelstoke’s new schools

Scaffolding has gone up around Revelstoke's two new schools due to concerns about the siding on the buildings.

Scaffolding has been placed around the side of Begbie View Elementary while crews work to repair the siding.

Scaffolding has been placed around the side of Begbie View Elementary while crews work to repair the siding.

Scaffolding has gone up around Revelstoke’s two new schools due to concerns about the siding on the buildings.

“Issues related to the exterior siding installed at both Revelstoke Secondary School and Begbie View Elementary have been the subject of review,” wrote school district superintendent Mike Hooker in a report to the Board of Education. “It has become apparent that Graham Construction needs to undertake immediate remedial action on the siding, which may take us into the spring of 2016.”

The problems were first noticed when cracks started showing up in the big red panels on the sides of the schools, said Hooker. Further investigation revealed potential widespread issues.

“We don’t have a full report on whether it’s the siding, the installation, or the manufacturing,” Hooker told the Review. “What we do know is there’s a problem with it. They refer to the integrity of the siding in terms of long-term sustainability.”

Graham Construction was contracted to design and build the new schools. While the buildings have been widely praised for their bright, open spaces and attractive designs, the school district has yet to sign off on the project’s completion due to several outstanding warranty and deficiency issues — the siding being perhaps the most significant.

Hooker said the issue wasn’t a safety hazard, but that the scaffolding was put in place as a precaution, “so people could work on it during the school day.”

Several of the red panels on the schools have already had to be replaced, said Hooker, but now Graham is worried the problem is larger in scale.

“We’ve known aesthetically there’s been issues, but now they’re saying on a  bigger scale they have to deal with it in the long-term,” he said.

Graham, as a design-build contractor, is responsible for all the costs associated with the work.

“This is a huge task they’ve had to take on,” said Hooker. “I guess we’re lucky in that the project is not complete and Graham is being very responsible to ensure we get a quality product.

“They’re not going away until we’re satisfied.”