Manitoba

Contractor abruptly halts construction of new Brandon school mid-build, division says

It's no longer clear if a new school under construction in Brandon will be ready for kids this fall after the contractor abruptly walked off the job on Monday, says a spokesperson with the Brandon School Division board of trustees.

School division board of trustees uncertain over whether Maryland Park K-8 school will be ready for fall

Construction stopped abruptly Monday at the Maryland Park School project due to issues with the general contractor, according to the Brandon School Division. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

It's no longer clear if a new school under construction in Brandon will be ready for kids this fall after the contractor abruptly walked off the job this week.

Maryland Park, a kindergarten to Grade 8 school for 450 students, was slated to be finished by September. There are concerns that won't happen since construction stopped unexpectedly Monday.

"It was kind of a surprise," said Linda Ross, chair of the board of trustees with the Brandon School Division.

"We don't have any firm information about the legal status of the general contractor, so everything is a little bit up in the air at the moment."

Signage for that contractor, Fresh Projects, remained up on work trailers at the construction site Tuesday. CBC News left numerous messages with staff at Fresh Projects but has not heard back.

Prominent Fresh Projects signage was still visible on trailers at the construction site in Brandon. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Fresh Projects has worked on several projects in the province. It's done work for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Manitoba Housing and the Met in downtown Winnipeg, according to the company general manager's LinkedIn page.

Ross said there's still lots of work to be done inside the school before it's ready for students.

"This is uncharted territory for us," she said. "We can't manage too much delay here."

Manitoba Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the project, division and sub-contractors are protected thanks to bonds that are in place.

"Manitoba Education, the Brandon School Division and the bonding company will work together over the course of the next few weeks to develop a revised construction schedule," he said in a statement.

Have more information about this story or other Fresh Projects construction contracts? Send us an email.

Ross said the contractor, Fresh Projects, was expected to have the job done in time for the fall semester in September. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

About the Author

Bryce Hoye

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Bryce Hoye is an award-winning journalist and science writer with a background in wildlife biology and interests in courts, social justice, health and more. He is the Prairie rep for OutCBC. Story idea? Email bryce.hoye@cbc.ca.

With files from Meaghan Ketcheson

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