The Delta School District is getting provincial funding as part of the government’s latest investment in capital projects across the province.
The Ministry of Education and Child Care has announced that as part of Budget 2023, the province is providing $261.1 million in 2023/24 for school maintenance projects, including $41 million to upgrade heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems at 101 schools throughout B.C.
Also, as part of the school maintenance funding, $13 million will go towards the purchase of at least 67 new school buses, while additional funding is being made available through the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation for school districts that buy electric buses.
Delta is not getting money for buses, but the district will be getting just over $2 million for upgrades at several elementary schools and a couple of high schools.
Those improvements include HVAC upgrades at Brooke Elementary, Chalmers Elementary, Cougar Canyon Elementary and Gibson Elementary, while Cougar Canyon will also be getting a roofing upgrade.
Those projects fall under the School Enhancement Program (SEP). SEP funding supports repair and maintenance projects that contribute to the function of the school and extend the life of an existing building.
Under the Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP), HVAC upgrades will occur at Sands Secondary and Seaquam Secondary. CNCP funding supports carbon-neutral projects that have the greatest effect reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing energy efficiency and operational savings.
The province will also provide additional dollars for maintenance and repairs for districts if issues or repairs arise.
The government notes that Budget 2023 includes $3.4 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements and land purchases for future schools.
Of the Delta district’s capital plan funding submission for the 2022/23 school year, six projects were supported by the ministry last year: Pinewood Elementary roofing upgrades, Annieville Elementary roofing upgrades, and Delview Secondary, North Delta Secondary and Sands Secondary HVAC upgrades, as well as new, universally accessible playground equipment at Richardson Elementary.
That $1,899,000 investment by the ministry represented 55 per cent of the district’s requested funding.