The Vernon School District will be getting more than one million dollars from the province as part of a maintenance funding program announced today.
Education Minister Rob Fleming announced 198 million dollars in total spending to upgrade building systems and improve environmental aspects as well as safety improvements.
Vernon will receive 870 thousand dollars for HVAC upgrades at Ellison Elementary School under a School Enhancement Program.
Under a Carbon Neutral Capital Program, $288,000 has been approved to upgrade HVAC system controls at WL Seaton Secondary.
Fleming says “Students deserve to learn in schools that are well maintained and operating the way they should. That’s why we’ve boosted funding to these programs by more than $20 million over last year.”
Under the School Enhancement Program, all school districts will receive a portion of this year’s $65-million investment.
The program is funding 176 separate projects that upgrade a wide range of building systems.
For example, schools might receive mechanical upgrades to improve the heating, cooling and ventilation of classrooms, or safety upgrades to fire alarm and sprinkler systems.
Each year, the Carbon Neutral Capital Program funds $5 million for upgrades that cut greenhouse-gas emissions and boost energy efficiency.
Three of the 19 schools receiving funding this year are using it to install solar panel systems.
This year’s $12.5-million investment under the School Bus Replacement Program is buying 93 new and replacement buses in 28 school districts.
The replacement buses will make traveling to school safer and more reliable for students.
The new buses will add to districts’ fleets, allowing them to better serve students with new routes.
The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District is getting $840,903 for three buses to serve new
routes, and four replacement buses.
The District is also to receive $1,532,200 under the School Enhancement Program for HVAC system upgrades at Eagle River Secondary, fire sprinkler and dust collection system upgrades at Pleasant Valley Secondary and dust collection system upgrades at J.L. Jackson Annex.
These funding programs build on the Annual Facilities Grant (AFG), which flows to districts annually for routine school maintenance costs.
This year, the total AFG is $115.5 million, an increase of $5 million over last year. This is the first increase to the AFG since 2004-05.