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Fort Modular

Peace River School District Impressed with Fort Modular

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Fort Modular goes the extra mile to provide Portable Classroom Complexes to Peace River School District in face of forest fire threats, floods, and road closures.


The Peace River North School District #60 selected Fort Modular in a bid to build, deliver and install 10,752 square feet of new, high-quality portable classroom space for four schools in Fort St. John, British Columbia. Braving forest fire threats, flooding and road closures, Fort Modular proved that they go the extra mile for their clients — literally.

In Spring 2016, Fort Modular won the contract to build a total of 20 newly manufactured 12 x 40 foot and 12 x 48 foot modular building units. These portable building modules were assembled into 4 separate classroom complexes providing a total of 10 classrooms for four schools. Two sites, Robert Ogilvie Elementary and CM Finch Elementary, each had two-classroom complexes of 2,112 square feet each. The other two sites, Ecole Central Elementary and Alwin Holland Elementary, each had three-classroom complexes, totalling 3,264 square feet each.

This new modular construction project required that the classroom complexes include hallways, custom cabinetry, and washrooms, as well as meet handicap accessibility requirements and undergo mechanical and electrical engineering to meet stringent American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards for air quality.

“Meeting the ASHRAE standards on the HVAC & Electrical systems was one of the most significant aspects of this project,” says Fort Modular principal Bryan Depedrina. “To obtain the specified cubic airflow, the engineers required the placement of larger ducting to be within the T-bar ceiling cavity instead of in the module’s flooring systems. We were able to meet this need and still maximize a higher finished ceiling height allowing for a better learning environment in the classrooms.”

Another interesting aspect of this project was the requirement for hallways. While the project called for on-site construction of the hallways, Fort Modular was able to demonstrate that they could build the hallways in the factory, providing the higher quality of indoor construction — and still save money.

While Fort Modular went the extra mile to accomplish the goals outlined by Peace River’s architects and engineers, it was the delivery and installation phase that brought to light how far Fort Modular would go to meet client needs. While forest fires threatened the timely completion at the start of the project, it was flooding and a highway washout that caused Fort Modular to rise above the call of duty at the end of the project. With the last six modules enroute and sudden road closures, Fort Modular literally went the extra mile and scrambled to reroute deliveries through Alberta to meet installation schedules.


“Despite tight timelines, stringent building requirements, forest fire threats, flooding, and road closures, Fort Modular was successfully able to meet the needs of this new modular building project on time and on budget.”

— Doug Boyd, Secretary Treasurer, Peace River North School District #60

Designed to withstand the rigours of an earthquake, these structurally engineered modular classrooms were fitted with seismic restraints and installed on pressure treated wooden block and pad foundations. While these classrooms are designed with the potential of being permanent, schools recognize that classroom enrolment can change over time. The beauty of modular is that it allows for school facilities to relocate and reassemble building modules as needs change.

In addition to building, delivery and installation, Fort Modular also provided final site finishing which included adding building skirting, landings, stairs, handrails, and ramps.


“Fort Modular was intuitive to our needs and was able to present solutions that we didn’t even consider. They met all of our requirements, provided excellent quality and kept us well informed. And they bent over backwards to help us meet our tight timelines. This is the first time we used them. We have no complaints whatsoever. We are extremely satisfied. We would definitely use them again,” adds Boyd.



Project Details

  • 10 classrooms at 4 school sites
  • 20 modules: 24 x 40 and 24 x 48
  • washrooms
  • hallways
  • extensive custom cabinetry: bookshelves, cubbies, coat hooks, boot racks, and teachers cabinets
  • white boards and tack boards
  • 4 double-paned vinyl windows each
  • commercial steel doors
  • EPDM Roofing
  • metal clad siding in client’s selected colours
  • handicap accessible
  • stairs, ramps, and landing
  • fire rated exterior walls in two locations
  • Seismic Restraints
  • Semi-Permanent Foundations




Alaska Highway News published an article about Fort Modular providing portable classrooms for four Fort St. John schools in the Peace River North School District.  Read it here.