The old Piper Creek School will remain in place for the start of another school year.
The old building, which has most recently operated as École La Prairie, will officially be replaced in September when local francophone students continue their schooling at a brand new iteration of École La Prairie directly adjacent to the old brick structure.
The plan has always been to demolish the older facility to make room for a soccer pitch, but that work will proceed well into the next school year. Francophone school division Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord expects to completely clear out of the building this month, after which it will be turned over to Alberta Infrastructure.
The department will then get a Hazmat consultant in to examine the inside of the 1952-built school.
Based on the results, the province will go ahead with abatement and demolition of the structure.
A department spokesperson estimated that the report could come by the end of September, with removal of hazardous materials in fall or winter. Asbestos became a popular building material in 1950s.
Students will attend school only a few metres away in the new École La Prairie at that time, but care will be taken to make sure the removal is done with appropriate safeguards in place, said Tracy Larsen with Alberta Infrastructure.
Larsen said demolition will likely not take place until spring.
The original South Hill School building — which was later added onto and renamed Piper Creek — was constructed at a cost of $50,000.
One recent school demolition project in Stony Plain cost in the neighbourhood of $2.4 million.