School maintenance projects get cash infusion

This year, the Vernon district has had its funding increased to $1,289,747.

From new flooring at Harwood elementary, to  fire alarm upgrades at Kal secondary, the Vernon School District always has a number of maintenance projects on the go.

Thanks to the annual facilities grant from the Ministry of Education, those projects are able to proceed. This year, the district has had its funding increased to $1,289,747.

In April, the board was required to submit their list of AFG projects and expenditures for ministry confirmation.

The annual AFG is used to fund maintenance and repairs in district schools. All planned AFG projects must be completed between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014.

Projects already completed or under way include corridor flooring at Fulton; upgrading and expanding the parking lot at JW Inglis; fencing at Beairsto; roof replacement at Hillview, Okanagan Landing, Seaton and Alexis Park.

Meanwhile, upgrades to the board office are still a long way off.

Secretary-treasurer Lewis Hill said trustees have received information on the necessity of renovations to the current board office and portables.

“This is going to be a long process before we can consider breaking ground,” he said. “But we do have funds set aside for this project.”

Trustees were asked to approve the beginning stages of the renovation to what is now being called the Education Centre. This would involve an analysis of the space, work flow and storage requirements of the centre, and develop a new set of concept drawings for board discussion and approval prior to final authorization to proceed with the project.

“This is not just a board office, but a multifunctional facility, and we need to understand our space and storage requirements before we proceed,” said Hill.

But with no seconder to the motion to authorize this analysis, the board is not prepared to proceed with the project at this time.

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The board is in the process of forming a sub-committee to develop a draft LGBTQ policy for consideration.

“We want to develop a draft policy on youth with (director of instruction) Diane Rhenisch who will meet with administrators, students and teachers to talk about what that policy would look like, and we’re hoping to have it completed by December,” said superintendant Joe Rogers.