Government of Yukon

June 21, 2012

Progress continues on F.H. Collins Secondary School replacement project

WHITEHORSE—Whitehorse residents can expect to see more work on the grounds of Yukon’s largest high school this summer, as phase two of site work gets underway for the F.H. Collins replacement project, Education Minister Scott Kent announced today. The minister met today with the Building Advisory Committee members to give them an update on the project.

“The new school is designed to support best practices for teaching and learning in the 21st Century with flexible learning spaces,” Kent said. “Final design drawings are now complete and reflect recommendations from the project’s Building Advisory Committee.”

Phase two site preparation includes installation of a new domestic water service, an alternate bus loop and road access behind F.H. Collins.

“Phase two site work is expected to be substantially complete by the end of this summer to avoid disruptions to school operations in the fall,” Minister for Highways and Public Works Wade Istchenko said. “We are pleased to move forward with the next phase of this important community project.”

Activities on the F.H. Collins main soccer field and track will not be disrupted by the construction of the new school. The lower soccer field will be used as a construction staging area for the contractor to avoid any further disruptions to physical education programming. Site work required to gain access to the lower field will be completed this summer.

The government continues to pursue the geothermal heating option, and the adjusted building plans incorporate all required infrastructure to make geothermal heating a reality, while risk management and regulatory processes are examined.

Details about the tendering of the main school construction contract will be announced later this summer, and a series of information sessions about the construction project are being planned for the fall. As the project progresses, the public can view updates at

The new school will be constructed in time to open its doors to students in the fall of 2015.


See backgrounder below.


Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications

Michele Royle
Communications, Education

Jennifer Magnuson
Communications, Highways & Public Works




F.H. Collins Secondary School Replacement Project

Construction status - June 2012

Work to date – Site work phase one

The new school construction project is a very large and complex task. In addition to the building itself, the project also includes a number of modifications and improvements to the school site. Many of those site work tasks must be completed before the construction of the building itself can be started. A number of those tasks were completed during the summer of 2011 (site work– phase one): new buried fibre-optic communications conduits to serve the new school, a new driveway access (just north of the current bus loop driveway), a temporary water service line to permit ongoing operation of the old school while the new school is built, and the relocation of the City of Whitehorse’s main storm sewer line that serves much of Riverdale and ran beneath the footprint of the new school.

Site work phase two

The next phase, site work phase two, is planned for the summer of 2012. This work is expected to begin in late June, roughly about the time school will end for the summer break, and is expected to be completed this fall. The site work tasks for this summer include the following:

  • Installation of a new water service for the new school. The City’s water main is located across Lewes Blvd from the school, and an excavation across the road will be required. The work will be done in sections to minimize traffic interruptions. Temporary detours will be required.
  • Construction of an alternate bus drop-off area (to be located at the rear of the school) which will be required during the entire construction period because the existing bus loop lies within the footprint of the new school.
  • Construction of an access road to the lower soccer field, which will be used as the contractor’s construction compound and ‘lay down area’ during the construction period. The upper soccer field will remain operational during the construction period.
  • Installation of a new buried water line for the perimeter fire hydrant loop for the new school.
  • Modifications to the main parking lot on Lewes Blvd.
  • Construction of a new driveway exit onto Lewes Blvd at the south end of the parking lot.

Main building construction contract

The tender for the main building construction contract is planned for winter of 2013. The construction period will take approximately two years and the new school building is planned to be ready for the start of the 2015-16 school year.

Steps to minimize the impact of the new school construction on school operations

A number of steps and processes will be implemented to reduce the impact of the new school construction on the everyday operation of the current F.H. Collins and Selkirk schools. Information on those processes will be made available to students and parents early in the 2012-13 school year.

News Release #12-119