School District 85 gets more money for repairs but strings are attached

Funding for repairs to schools in North Island school district No. 85 has been reinstated for next year's budget, but there are new limitations on how it can be spent.

  • Apr. 7, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Funding for school repairs has been reinstated for next year’s budget, but there are new limitations on how it can be spent.

“We have minor and major projects, but it is very restrictive, we can’t accumulate it, so the biggest needs will go unattended,” secretary-treasurer John Martin said of the $700,000 grant that must be spent next year or returned to the government.

The annual facilities grant was, for many years, used to make both small and large repairs to schools. Smaller repairs were done quickly, and remaining funds from the the grant were saved year to year to tackle larger projects, explained Martin.

Last year, the grant was cut from school funding. This year about half the previous amount was designated to the district, and in the coming year the full funding will be reinstated at about $700,000.

“We are not complaining; we like getting the money,” said Martin. “We are just restricted in how we use it.”

The money must be used during the budget year it is granted and cannot be carried over to another year to save for a big project. And that is a dilemma for a school district that has several big projects on its plate.

A new heating system at Fort Rupert Elementary will be the top priority and the least expensive project to tackle, said Martin. That project was approved at the February board meeting, contingent on funding.

Two more costly projects are a new roof and structural seismic upgrades for Sunset Elementary and a new heating system for North Island Secondary, both estimated to cost more than $1 million. More than the grant could cover. Martin said the school district may have to break the Sunset project into stages.

“We could perhaps start with the gym at Sunset,” said Martin, adding the project would cost about $300,000. The district has applied for a separate capital grant for the NISS project.

Just Posted

Aftershock soccer tournament takes over Port Hardy fields

Around the clock matches were played in divisions ranging from tots to U18.

Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre’s 2018-2019 graduating class

The Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre is located on the Tsulquate reserve in the North Island.

Skin deep: A look inside the ink behind Beacon Tattoo

Patrick Berube, owner of Beacon Tattoo, spends most of his Tuesdays at… Continue reading

Second recreational cannabis shop opens its doors in Port Hardy

Pacificanna owner Darren Saunders was excited to finally see his family-run business open up shop.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A lone crow landing beside an eagle

“I saw an eagle just sitting there, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be there long as I got closer”

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Olympic skier from B.C. suing Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

B.C. senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger.’

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Most Read