Nova Scotia

QEH demolition contract cancelled

The demolition of Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax is on hold as the province looks for another company to finish the job.
The demolition of Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax is on hold as the province looks for another company to finish the job. (CBC)

The demolition of Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax is on hold as the province looks for another company to finish the job.

Cathy MacIsaac, a government spokeswoman, said the $2.1-million contract was cancelled because the first company, Demolition Resources Ltd., didn't live up to the terms of the deal.

"We have — as of yesterday — cancelled the contract with the current contractor and we'll be moving to get someone else on site to finish the project," she said Wednesday.

"The contract was cancelled for non-performance. We had some deadlines that were missed, we had a new deadline set for mid-August and it became clear that that was not going to be met."

Crews began tearing apart the interior of the building in October, aiming for the original demolition completion deadline in December. That deadline was extended until the end of March.

After a contract dispute and more delays, the deadline was moved again, to mid-August.

MacIsaac said she doesn't know how much money has been paid out so far, but said the government hopes to complete the project within the original budget. She said the $2.1-million contract was the cheapest option.

"We wanted to work with the contractor and try to make it finished," she said.

"Unfortunately, despite all those best efforts that's not what's going to happen and we're going to have to go to somebody else."

One contractor told CBC News on Wednesday that he believed the lowest bidder had undersold the project by $800,000 to $900,000. He estimated it will cost at least $1 million to finish tearing the building down.

The land at the corner of Robie Street and Bell Road was supposed to be turned into an urban garden this summer.

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