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Lead paint and asbestos drag out NE1 upgrade

IMG_20150108_122055If anyone was wondering why fences and scaffoldings surround NE1, wonder no more. The 37-year-old building is getting a makeover, and this is only phase one of the two planned as part of the maintenance project.

The project was scheduled to begin June 30th and end by the end of November, but had a late start and was further delayed when workers found lead paint and asbestos.

The project is now expected to be completed at the end of January, but this tentative date is dependant on the weather. Director of Project Services, John Murnane, explained students shouldn’t be affected greatly by construction during the first month of the year; he hopes the impact will be minimal.

The project on NE1 has been divided in two phases. Phase one, which is currently underway, is mainly focused on extending the serviceable life of the building. That means fixing a leaky roof, improving energy efficiency, and improving ventilation. Workers are also giving the building a seismic upgrade.

“Everybody is seeing this as an exterior change, but there’s much more to this project, including safety,” added Director Murnane.

The first phase of the project will cost $1.9 million, the funds will come from both BCIT and the Ministry of Advanced Education. The cost for phase two is unknown at the moment but a request for funding has been submitted to the Ministry. Phase two should begin either in 2015 or beginning of 2016.