Upgrades on school agendas

Districts have until Sept. 15 to submit their proposed projects to the ministry

Government is providing nearly $20 million to help B.C. school districts extend the life of their facilities and school-based assets, education minister Mike Bernier announced while speaking at the BC School Superintendents Association’s Summer Leadership Academy in Kelowna.

Districts have been asked to identify priorities for routine capital upgrade projects to support healthy, efficient schools for students, teachers and staff.

“School districts work hard to make sure their facilities are as safe and efficient as possible for students and staff,” said Bernier. “This additional funding recognizes that effort and the often difficult and complex challenges that come with this work.”

Eligible projects must cost more than $100,000 and may include:

Electrical upgrades (power supply and distribution systems);

Energy upgrades;

Health and safety upgrades (traffic safety, indoor air quality);

Mechanical upgrades (heating, ventilation, plumbing); and

Roofing upgrades.

Priority will be given to schools with enrolment demands and the greatest opportunity to improve facilities, as well as schools with strategic importance to districts such as those in rural areas with limited alternatives and projected enrolment growth.

Day-to-day wear and tear such as painting, flooring, driveway repairs and playfield repairs are not eligible as they are funded through the annual facility grant allocations to districts, worth approximately $108 million this coming school year.

Districts have until Sept. 15 to submit their proposed projects to the ministry. All submissions will be carefully reviewed and successful applicants will be notified later this fall.