Windows not ready at Langley school, despite students returning to the classroom

Construction will be ongoing at D.W. Poppy as strong winds delayed window replacement

Window replacement is still ongoing at D.W. Poppy Secondary School, despite the fact that students officially returned to class on Thursday, Sept. 10 for orientation.

Joanne Abshire, communications manager for the Langley School District, said window replacement projects have taken place at both D.W. Poppy and Brookswood – with work at the Brookswood location now complete.

“Strong winds on the weekend impacted the project at D.W. Poppy,” Abshire explained, adding that wind blew off the plastic coverings on some of the windows.

The project had been on schedule for the summer, but there were also delays on window frames due to COVID-19 precautions.

Tarps are visible, covering most of the front and backsides of the school at 23752 52 Ave; plywood is also covering several of the unfinished windows on the west side near the staff parking lot.

“Contractors will work to fix and carry on with the project which should wrap up in approximately three weeks,” Abshire said.

The project is expected to be completed by early October.

READ MORE: Thousands of students return to schools as new COVID-19 cases emerge

Dean Pacheco, Principal of D.W. Poppy, said he understand the inconvenience of it occurring at an already challenging time.

“We acknowledge some students, staff and parents have concerns with the project and that returning to school with boarded up windows is not pleasant,” Pacheco noted. “We are committed to providing you updates and ensuring that we are meeting our provincial health and safety guidelines.”

In an email sent to D.W. Poppy School parents and families, Pacheco noted that all windows are being replaced and Fraser Health has confirmed the project meets COVID-19 health and safety protocols and measures, along with WorkSafeBC safety procedures.

“We have consulted with the Township of Langley Fire Department and have an inspection scheduled for next week to ensure the project meets our emergency school procedures guidelines,” Pacheco said in the email.

Due to classes in session, the contractor can only work on four classrooms each day.

No students or staff will be in the classrooms that are being worked on.

The school’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system underwent an upgrade with filters installed earlier this week.

Teresa Beere Johnson lives near D.W. Poppy and said she is concerned for the returning students.

“For most of the summer half of the schools windows have been boarded up,” she explained. “How are the teachers and students to be expected to have better ventilation and air quality with boarded up windows?”

Given the timing of the construction and the school’s response, Beere Johnson said she feels that the Langley School District ignored the issue.

“The planning of this capital project has been in the works for the last two years,” Pacheco added. “We are so pleased to see it happening as we know it will help create more positive learning conditions once it is completed.”

Students returned for orientation last week, covering COVID-19 safety restrictions before heading back to class on Monday, Sept. 14.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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