Nanaimo school district can fire up mechanical upgrades thanks to funding from the B.C. government.
The province announced Tuesday that $65 million from its school enhancement program will go toward 176 projects, from mechanical upgrades to fire alarm and sprinkler systems.
Nanaimo will get $1.75 million for dust-collection upgrades for Dover Bay and Wellington high schools and HVAC upgrades at Park Avenue and Hammond Bay elementary schools.
Five million dollars will also go to school districts through the carbon-neutral capital program and $12.5 million for the school bus replacement program. The funding is in addition to an annual facilities grant for routine school maintenance costs which has increased, for the first time since 2004-05, to $115.5 million.
“Our government recognizes that students will be better off in an education system that is properly resourced,” Education Minister Rob Fleming said in the statement. “Increasing the funding to these programs is the first step to address the backlog of school maintenance in this province.”
The funding announcement pleased the B.C. School Trustees Association. BCSTA president Gordon Swan said in a press release that his organization has strongly advocated for “quite some time” for government to provide local boards of education and schools with additional money needed to appropriately address concerns around building maintenance, school buses, facility upgrades and other projects.
-with files from Ashley Wadhwani