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

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

North Island local elections face a number of acclamations

Alert Bay, Sayward, and Zeballos have unopposed mayoral elections

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Fishin’ Corner: Stand up for your fishing rights

“Don’t give in to DFO and their quota bureaucracy that the fish belong to everyone.”

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read