Agreement Signed for Brick School Project

Mayor of Athabasca Colleen Powell and Athabasca County Reeve Larry Armfelt sign an agreement to begin the next stage of work on the Athabasca Brick School project.

Athabasca County and the Town of Athabasca have signed an agreement with an architectural firm that will kick-start the next stage of work on the Athabasca Brick School.

The agreement is made possible financially thanks to the Alberta Community Partnerships – Inter Municipal Collaboration grant which is providing $200,000 to conduct this phase of the project.

The agreement follows a pair of meetings between the two municipalities in 2018 that helped set a direction for the Brick School Steering Committee by adopting Terms of Reference and a Project Charter. The main mandate of the committee is to repurpose the Brick School and bring it into a viable and productive use for the community.

“This project has been worked on for a very long time,” said Reeve Larry Armfelt at the agreement signing. “We’re very happy to see it reach this stage.”

“It’s probably one of the most important historical buildings in Athabasca,” added Mayor Colleen Powell.

The Brick School was designated a Registered Historic Resource in 1976. Any substantial changes to the building must be coordinated with Alberta Historic Resources, who has been contacted to inform them that the project is moving ahead.

With a hazard assessment already complete, a Request for Proposal was drafted in late 2018 to seek a qualified company to conduct stakeholder consultation & engagement meetings. The successful proposal was from Edmonton-based Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd.

The  project will be broken into two phases:

  • Phase 1 – Brick School Building Revitalization Use Study
  • Phase 2 – Plan Design and Costing

Together they will address the potential uses for the facility and will include a use study, site planning for the building complex, planning and design for the architectural, mechanical, electrical, and structural elements.

It will also provide upgraded  designs to meet the new building  code requirements, energy  efficiencies,  fire and  life  safety  code  and  accessibility  requirements.  The  final  result  of  this  study  will  be  a complete  tender  package  of specifications, drawings  and costs that  will provide  a bridge to the next stage of selecting a contractor and proceeding with construction.

A key part of the revitalization project is public consultation. Design workshops will be hosted to gather the ideas of interested individuals and organizations in the region.