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SD5 and 6 receive over $3.3-million for school upgrades

School Districts 5 and 6 (SD5 and SD6) will receive a combined total of $3,347,012 in grants from the Provincial Government to buy new electric busses and upgrade schools.

The B.C. Government said this is part of this year’s maintenance grant program, which will distribute $240.5 million to K-12 schools around the province.

“With over 1,500 public schools throughout our province, maintaining and improving our facilities is a critical priority to ensure students are learning in healthy, efficient and positive environments, no matter where they live,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “From ventilation and heating, to energy efficiency and lighting, increased maintenance funding allows districts to tackle immediate priorities and focus on providing the best learning experience possible for every B.C. student.”

For SD5, it will receive a total of $1,570,944 from the Province to buy three new electric busses and upgrade Mount Baker Secondary School and Frank J Mitchell Elementary. Meanwhile, SD6 will receive $1,776,068 for upgrades across five schools and fund the purchase of two new e-busses.

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From the grants, $15-million is earmarked specifically for new electric busses.

B.C. said the busses will help the province reach its CleanBC targets in the public sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 for vehicle fleets.

“We are creating a cleaner environment for students and putting future generations on the road to a clean energy future,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Not only are these electric school buses reducing air pollution, but they also cost less over time to operate.”

The Carbon Neutral Capital Program was increased by $5.8 million to $23 million in 2021. The program funds projects that reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency. This will pay for HVAC, roofing and lighting upgrades across seven schools in local school districts.

“Our children and grandchildren deserve every opportunity for a healthy, clean future and our investment in better learning environments through CleanBC is one of the best we can make to see that happen,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “That’s why we’re providing more funding than ever before to help reduce pollution through better schools, more electric school buses and expanded renewable energy.”

Across B.C., 84 schools will have improved HVAC systems, 66 will have electrical system upgrades, and 26 will use the grants to upgrade their energy systems.

The funding will be used in the following ways in local schools:

  • Southeast Kootenay School District – SD5 ($1,570,944):
    • Three new electric school busses.
    • Mount Baker Secondary
      • HVAC upgrades.
      • Roofing upgrades.
      • LED lighting upgrades.
    • Frank J Mitchell Elementary:
      • LED lighting upgrades
  • Rocky Mountain School District – SD6 ($1,776,068):
    • Two new electric busses.
    • Blarchmont Elementary
      • HVAC upgrades.
    • Selkirk Secondary
      • Roofing upgrades.
    • Alexander Park Elementary
      • LED lighting upgrades.
    • Marysville Elementary
      • LED lighting upgrades.
    • Windermere Elementary
      • LED lighting upgrades.
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