‘Multi-use’ picking up speed

El Nino has been a contractor’s best friend around here as the extremely mild winter and early spring have allowed workers to make up for lost time at the “multi-use” facility under construction at Westfort.
Murray Quinn, maintenance superintendent for the Rainy River District School Board, said yesterday he hoped to close out one of the last big tenders for form work and cement floor foundations by April 3.
“Now that the weather is great, we can jump the gun,” Quinn said. “There’s a number of tenders left but a lot of them can be actually tendered as we go along.”
“Now we’re dealing with small stuff,” agreed Wayne McAndrew, director of education for the public board. “This big tender was critical and it’s out of the way now.”
Quinn hoped to have the rest of the tenders out sometime next month.
“I’m trying to speed the process up so we can actually gain some time,” he said, noting when he was dropped in the middle of the project, it already had encountered several delays and problems.
“I think things are moving as fast as they can now,” he added, giving a lot of credit to the tradespeople working on the project for the speed and skill they’ve been able to maintain.
Meanwhile, the project so far has stayed within the latest set of budget guidelines which were set when the old school board still existed.
“[But] until the last tender is out, we’re going to have a hard time getting a handle on the price,” Quinn said.
To further meet that end, Quinn is looking at ways to cut costs in the project without jeopardizing quality, such as the roof. Originally, it was designed to be a four-ply tar and gravel system, which came with a two-year labour warranty.
Quinn is now hoping to replace that with an EPDM system, which is much like a rubber coating on the roof held in place with a ballast on top.
Not only is an EPDM roof $30,000 cheaper, it comes with a 10-year warranty which includes parts and labour.
Quinn is waiting to see the final drawings from the architects to see if the roof modifications work. Until then, it’s full steam ahead for much of the other work on site.
“Mother Nature has been extremely great in Northwestern Ontario for construction,” he said.