Maple Bay Elementary School and Ecole Cobble Hill will get new roofs during the next school year, funded by $176,000 in provincial money and $152,033 in district funding for roof replacements.
The B.C. government’s school “fix-it fund” has grown from $20 million last year to $45 million as the government announced 80 repair projects May 19.
School districts were asked to submit projects. To be eligible, repairs to school roofs, windows, heating, electrical and plumbing have to be completed by the end of March 2017.
Education Minister Mike Bernier announced a $40 million fund when he alerted B.C.’s 60 school districts in March.
Bernier said the fix-it fund is over and above the annual facilities grant provided to school districts for repairs. He confirmed that the additional funds are from within the current three-year ministry budget, shifted to the current fiscal year.
The fix-it fund is also in addition to the province’s carbon tax fund, financed by school and hospital districts to fund upgrades to heating boilers, windows and other energy efficiency projects.
“They’re ones that normally school districts would have a harder time with [in] their annual facilities grants,” Bernier said.
NDP education critic Rob Fleming said the program used to be called the routine maintenance fund.
“This is for deferred maintenance of neglected schools around the province,” Fleming said. “There’s probably hundreds of millions of dollars of deferred maintenance, so even at this rate it would take decades to get on top of that.”
—with a file from Tom Fletcher, Black Press