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Here's the Delta School District's wish list of school upgrades

Funding requests are submitted annually to the province
The school district is hoping to get funding to replace the two playground sections at Health Elementary with new, universally accessible playground equipment. Sandor Gyarmati photo

A multi-million expansion at a local elementary school is eyed by the Delta School District, one of many projects on a wish list of upgrades.

A staff report at the board of trustees meeting this week outlined a series of proposed capital projects, which would require provincial funding.

The school board each year submits a list of proposed capital plan projects that fall under either major capital plan or minor capital plan streams.

Leading the list of major capital plan projects is an expansion of Ladner Elementary.

The report to the board notes that the latest enrollment projections forecast for Delta indicate that enrollment will continue its slow recovery from many years of decline and that there is system- wide classroom capacity to accommodate the expected number of students for the foreseeable future.

However, the district is seeing a rapid increase in school-aged children in certain areas.

As a result, staff proposed the district request a six-classroom addition at Ladner Elementary, a project that would have an estimated price tag of more than $8.2 million.

The expansion would allow for the projected increase of elementary school-aged children within the catchment in the next three-to-seven years, according to the report.

Meanwhile, staff note that there are currently no Delta schools which have reached or are forecast to reach the end and need to be replaced.

However, there is one modular-connected pod at Hawthorne Elementary that will be reaching the end of its life cycle within the next five years. Staff note the pod’s major structural or accumulated maintenance needs will exceed the cost of replacement, so a proposal for the replacement of the modular pod is proposed. That project would cost over $5.3 million.

As far as the minor capital projects, that program provides capital funding specifically for projects that will improve the safety, facility condition, operational efficiency and functionality of existing schools, in an effort to extend their useful physical life.

Eligible projects must be valued at more than $100,000 but not exceed $2 million. Staff note it is “also crucial” to include at least one project valued at $500,000 or less.

To qualify for the minimum $100,000 threshold, several smaller projects for various schools may be grouped to form a single project, and a maximum of five projects can be submitted to the ministry.

The five Delta projects that will be submitted include a proposed elevator installation at Sunshine Hills Elementary and Heath Elementary ($1,195,000), a Delta Secondary roof refurbishment ($614,250), a Sunshine Hills Elementary and Delta Manor Education Centre roof refurbishment ($364,500), a Delta Secondary chiller replacement ($200,000), as well as an upgraded supply air distribution at Gray, Cougar Canyon, Hawthorne, Hellings and Jarvis elementary schools ($500,000).

Meanwhile, the Carbon Neutral Capital Program is an annual program that provides capital funding specifically for energy efficiency projects that lower school districts carbon emissions.

A maximum of five separate projects may be submitted per school district for funding consideration by the province as well.

The Delta schools submitted for projects include Port Guichon Elementary ($350,000), Seaquam Secondary ($400,000), Sands Secondary ($400,000), Brooke and Gibson elemenaties ($400,000), as well as separate upgrades in one project at Brooke, Gibson and Cougar Canyon elementaries ($250,000).

The district is also applying for funding for school playground equipment upgrades under an annual program supporting inclusion and accessibility for children, providing specific funding to purchase and install new or replacement equipment that is universal in design and is in compliance with accessibility measures.

A maximum of three separate projects may be submitted to the province and the estimated funding available for each playground is $195,000.

The program focuses on full playground replacements, so partial replacement of existing equipment or repair of existing equipment will not be considered. Schools that do not currently have playground equipment and students who do not have easy access to nearby equipment will be prioritized.

The Delta district will apply for playground equipment replacement at Health ($195,000) as well as Gibson ($195,000).