Chilliwack secondary contractors awarded for excellence

The innovative design and construction of Chilliwack secondary was awarded this week by Vancouver Regional Construction Association.

The contractors for the new Chilliwack secondary

The unique, campus-like design of Chilliwack secondary is being recognized outside Chilliwack boundaries.

Graham Design Builders and StructureCraft Builders, both contractors for the CSS construction project, have been awarded Silver Awards from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA).

For 26 years, the VRCA has annually recognized the province’s best companies, individuals and projects in the construction industry with its Silver Awards. Recipients are selected for their use of innovative techniques, new materials, exceptional project management, and their ability to come in or under budget.

This year, out of 149 entrants, that covered 31 projects, totaling $1.5 billion, Chilliwack secondary was among 22 awarded.

Graham Design Builders were awarded under the General Contractors $15 million to $55 million category and StructureCraft Builders were awarded in the new category of Trade Contractors $1 million to $3 million.

“The Chilliwack secondary school project triggered two silver winners, which is really, really impressive,” said Fiona Famulak, president of VRCA.

“The Silver Award winners this year truly represent the finest of our industry.”

The obstacles Chilliwack secondary overcame stood out with the judges.

Because the new facility was constructed on the existing secondary school property, while students were still on site, the contractors had to employ several strategies to ensure the safety of students, staff, and workers. These included regularly communicating with the school district; creating a strict separation plan between construction traffic and school traffic; and scheduling high-risk activities during summer and spring breaks.

The design, which incorporated three different user groups, including the high school, Fraser Valley Distance Education, and the Neighbourhood of Learning centre, was also seen as innovative – more university campus than high school.

Other projects awarded for the same categories included a major research centre, student housing at the University of British Columbia, and the Marine Terminal El Boleo Mine located in Mexico.

“It’s commendable that Chilliwack secondary is in such good company, because all of those projects are large, complex, sophisticated builds,” said Famulak.

“The general contractor and the trade contractor that’s been nominated, as far as Chilliwack’s concerned, has done a great job to make that list.

One Silver Award winner from each category will also be chosen as a Gold Award winner during the 26th annual VRCA Awards of Excellence gala dinner on Oct. 16 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Tickets for the gala can be purchased via

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