$3.7 million to extend the life of schools

Work crews will be busy at School District 23 schools this summer after the Ministry of Education announced that $110 million in annual facilities grants would be restored province wide this coming summer.

“I am happy to announce today that we are restoring the annual facilities grants so school districts can plan for summer maintenance and repair work. Ensuring clean, safe and appropriate places of learning for students is an important part of our government’s Families First agenda,” said Minister of Education George Abbott.

Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country says that of the available funding $3.7 million has been allocated to SD23.

Expected uses of the funds include heating, cooling and mechanical upgrades, boiler replacements and energy efficiency upgrades, roofing and flooring, site improvement and playfield upgrades, painting and refinishing.

“The funds are generally intended to cover school upkeep costs, but can also be used for projects that help enhance school facilities, improve staff and student safety, increase energy efficiency and lower operating costs,” said Letnick.

School Trustee Anna Hunt-Binkley welcomed Abbott’s announcement.

“This is definitely good news because we have some items that need to be taken care of every few years that have had to be scaled back,” said Hunt-Binkley.

Hunt-Binkley says it will be several weeks before the school board has a chance to discuss how SD23’s share of the funds will be used.

Annual facilities grants are provided to school districts in addition to their regular operating grants.