Asbestos blamed for growing cost to demolish old Whitehorse high school –


The estimated cost to demolish Whitehorse’s ancient F.H. Collins high school has gone up — again.

The original government contract to tear down the 53-year-ancient building, tendered last year, was for $4.4 million dollars. By December, officials were saying the school had more asbestos than they thought, and the cost would be closer to $6 million.

Now the estimated cost has gone up nearly another million dollars, to $6.9 million.

“We do realize there was an increase in cost for this work,” said Jody Fobe, senior building program manager with the Yukon government.  

“We did do testing and when we went through the demolition, we did notice that there was extensive additional material found, which we accounted for.” 

In the territorial legislature, the opposition NDP blamed the ballooning budget on the former Yukon Party government.

“This is perhaps a cautionary tale for the new government,” Hanson said. 

“This is as a result of what we saw many, many times during the Yukon Party government’s reign — where the initial estimates that were done were widely, wildly out of scope with what really occurred.

Hanson urged the new Liberal government to use “excellent sound analysis and plotting” for future projects.

The F.H. Collins demolition work is also behind schedule. The building fell out of use in December 2015, and demolition was supposed to start the following spring.

Instead, it started in September, and should be done by the end of this month.

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