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School district receives money for upgrades

School District 57 is among many around the province receiving provincial dollars for capital projects.

The local school district will receive $1,517,983 under the School Enhancement Program and the money will be used for a dust-collection system replacement at Heather Park Elementary, replacement of electrical transformer at Foothills Elementary and Spruceland Elementary, and replacement of hot-water heating boiler plant at Peden Hill Elementary.

The money is part of $206 million sent to school districts for energy upgrades, maintenance projects and new buses.

This year’s funding is a $20.6-million increase from 2016-17. It is broken down into five programs:

* School Enhancement Program

* Carbon Neutral Capital Program

* Bus Acquisition Program

* Building Envelope Program

* Annual Facility Grant

The School Enhancement Program provides $65 million for 127 school projects throughout the province, including mechanical upgrades and safety improvements.

Through the Carbon Neutral Capital Program, 19 school districts are receiving a combined $5 million for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency.

This year’s Bus Acquisition Program provides $13 million for 81 new school buses provincewide, so students can be transported to and from school safely.

The Building Envelope Program supports districts to remediate schools that have experienced water damage. In 2019-20, $8 million is allocated for this work.

In addition to these programs, the $115.5-million Annual Facilities Grant will allow all school districts to undertake additional maintenance projects that promote the continued safe and efficient operation of schools. Funding for this program was increased by government in 2018 by $5 million, the first increase since 2004.

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