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Local schools benefit from provincial funding

The Southeast Kootenay, Rocky Mountian and Kootenay Lake school districts are receiving provincial funding aimed at improving B.C.’s schools.

B.C. government officials said the Southeast Kootenay School District (SD5) will get $1,503,885, the Rocky Mountian School District (SD6) will receive $1,390,649, and the Kootenay Lake school district (SD8) is getting $2,279,920.

“We are making historic investments in school capital projects across the province,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education. “Schools are the cornerstones of our communities, and our government is continuing to invest in our school infrastructure to ensure that our kids have clean, safe, modern places to learn, grow and play.”

The provincial funding will include $261.1-million in school maintenance projects, such as heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system upgrades.

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B.C. government officials said part of the funding includes $13-million to buy at least new school buses, with additional funding available for school districts that buy electric buses.

“British Columbians are adopting cleaner vehicles at a remarkable rate and doing their part to reduce emissions and the impacts of climate change,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Every zero-emission vehicle on the road, especially medium- and heavy-duty ones, like buses that our students rely on every day, helps to reduce pollution, improve air quality and keep our busy streets quiet.”

Local school districts will get funding to pay for a combined total of 8 buses. SD5 and 6 will each buy one new bus, and SD8 will get money to buy five new buses.

Additionally, the Ministry of Education and Child Care’s Carbon Neutral Capital Program is providing $23-million for electrical upgrades at 86 schools. Locally, Rocky Mountain Elementary, Sparwood Secondary, McKim Middle school and Nicholson Elementary will get a portion of this funding.

Further, the B.C. government said the annual facility grant is being increased by $26.6 million to make sure schools have flexible maintenance funding.

“As well, $147.1 million is available for school districts to address maintenance needs in a versatile way based on their priorities, keeping schools safe and functioning,” said the B.C. government. “Investments in school maintenance are part of the Province’s work to ensure students are learning in safe, positive and well-maintained schools.”

You can see a list of local schools set to receive upgrades below:

  • Southeast Kootenay School District (SD5)
    • Plumbing upgrades at Mount Baker Secondary.
    • Electrical upgrades at Rocky Mountain Elementary.
    • Electrical upgrades at Sparwood Secondary.
    • One new bus.
  • Rocky Mountian School District (SD6)
    • Roofing upgrades at Marysville Elementary.
    • Electrical upgrades at McKim Middle school.
    • Electrical upgrades at Nicholson Elementary.
    • One new bus.
  • Rocky Mountian School District (SD6)
    • Plumbing upgrades at Trafalgar Middle school
    • HVAC upgrades at Mount Sentinel Secondary
    • HVAC upgrades at Kootenay River Secondary, LV Rogers Secondary, Redfish Elementary and Salmo Secondary
    • Five new buses
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