New gym floors at two schools in Prince Albert this summer

Ecole Arrhur Pechey /Facebook

The Saskatchewan Rivers School Division recently put out to tender a replacement project for gym floors at two Prince Albert schools, École Arthur Pechey and John Diefenbaker Public School.

The tender request opened May 12 and closed on Friday, May 22. The Preventative Maintenance and Renewal (PMR) funding provided by the Ministry of Education each year makes a project like this possible.

According to Saskatchewan Rivers Superintendent of Facilities Mike Hurd, the preventative maintenance projects work is done throughout the division and they have been replacing gymnasium floors as required.

“They get to where they have outlived their life and we have been replacing them. We get some funding from our ministry, Preventative Maintenance and Renewal (PMR) funding and we utilize that to do those things,” he said.

He explained that the PMR funding simplifies the process and allows them to stay ahead on maintenance in the division.

“The nice thing about that is we are able to determine the projects that are a priority to the division. Our board can look at the plan and say this is what we need to do here instead of applying for something and waiting to see whether the ministry will approve that,” Hurd said.

The old method had schools apply for projects to be approved by the Ministry of Education and wait and see, but with PMR funds each division can determine priorities.

“Up here we haven’t had a lot of new major capital projects— not like Saskatoon, Regina they really get them because their enrollment has been so good and they have had to with growth they have had to build schools whereas we have been fairly stable here and a lot of our schools are aging,” he explained.

According to Hurd, the PMR funding helps to increase the life cycle of schools in the division.

“We don’t get new schools as often as those larger centers do so we have to make the best of what we have and try to stay on top. And if you are doing preventative maintenance than you don’t get behind, it helps you,” Hurd said.

Both school’s floors are over or nearly 30 years old.

“If we were in a real bind we could probably carry it on a little bit longer but we have got the budget to do it so we use it for those things,” Hurd explained.

The board requested a proposal for replacement, supply and installation of new gym floors at both schools. The projects are expected to begin at the end of June and be completed by late August before school may or may not return.

According to Hurd, the vinyl floors seams’ start to let go after years of wear and tear and begin to get brittle. He explained that these two projects and possibly one more would mean that every school in the division would have replaced their gym floors.

Proposals were evaluated based on budgetary constraints, pricing, specifications being met and quality, warranty, experience, past history working with the proponent, completion timeline and any other criteria that Sask. Rivers wishes to use in the selection process.

According to Hurd the division received four proposals between the two projects.

“We used an RFP and we had our own specifications. Everybody that bid met the specs for the floors that we put out,” he said.

Hurd was pleased by the process and the variety of bids that came into the project. The floors in K-8 schools have to be a bit more flexible for use than a floor like that at Carlton Comprehensive Collegiate according to Hurd.

“In a K-8 school you want a more multi-functional floor, something that you can have a Christmas supper on or play sports on.

The products that they tend to use are cushion-type of polyurethane that have long life.

The costing was based on the price for synthetic flooring, sheet vinyl flooring and logos. The cost includes delivery, installation, worksite preparation and other items. The scope of the work includes removal of existing flooring, concrete floor preparation and leveling, installation of new floors, painting of game lines, retrofit of floor sockets, painting of school logo at centre and any worksite preparation and sealing off of entrance doors.

The floor at Arthur Pechey measures approximately 4,640 square feet and the floor at Diefenbaker measures approximately 4,144 square feet.

The COVID-19 pandemic makes it possible for the projects to start earlier if crews are available.

“Both of those floors have paid for themselves and to be quite honest if we had to go a couple of years because we didn’t have the money we could,” Hurd said.