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

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Mt. Waddington’s Salvation Army releases eye-opening statistics report for 2017

Shelter overnight stays saw a 431 per cent increase since 2014.

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s third quarterly report of 2018

PHFR had 13 practice nights and 11 other training events this quarter.

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Should the legal age for cannabis be increased to 21?

B.C. residents have a more mellow attitude to the age limit for pot – but 23 per cent want the legal age increased

Expect ride hailing in B.C. by 2020, Premier Horgan says

Taxi-style insurance option needed for part-time drivers

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

Most Read