School District 8 has approved a plan to increase spending by nearly $5 million on facilities upgrades over the next five years. File photo

School District 8 adds $5 million in facility upgrades over five years

The district projects to have a total of $20 million to spend on its buildings through 2025

School District 8’s board of trustees has voted to increase facility improvement spending by nearly $5 million through 2025.

In a presentation during the June 23 meeting, secretary-treasurer Michael McLellan said the district has $1.4 million in unspent capital funding for needed upgrades such as roofing, electrical upgrades and gym flooring.

There is also a further $2.1 million in the appraised values of surplus properties the district intends to either sell or lease.

McLellan’s proposal was to increase capital spending by $4.775 million over five years in order to improve the conditions of SD8 schools.

“The board of SD8 has strongly expressed its desire to modernize and upgrade all its learning environments throughout the district,” he said.

McLellan also projects about $3 million in annual funding from the Ministry of Education, which would add a further $15.4 million through 2025 for a total of just over $20 million.

The spending increase comes after SD8 decided to reinvest in its current facilities.

Trustees voted in 2016 to close Trafalgar Middle School and replace it with a new South Nelson Elementary, but changed course last December when it became apparent the education ministry was unlikely to fund new buildings.

That was the case, albeit on a smaller scale, in April when the district announced a planned expansion to Blewett Elementary was denied provincial funding. The district also announced in January it would expand Winlaw Elementary on its own dime. That school had also previously been considered for closure.

McLellan said engineers from the education ministry also inspected SD8 facilities in the summer of 2019 and made recommendations on potential improvements to maintenance and learning environments.

The spending, he said, will also upgrade technology used by staff and students.

“The number of devices per student has increased dramatically,” he said.

The board approved the decision with the exception of trustee Allan Gribbin, who voted against.

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

EducationEducation funding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rod Stebbings and Shawn Lord from Cranbrook’s Power Paving. Photo: Gail Landon
Creston Royal Canadian Legion receives free driveway upgrade

“With Remembrance Day around the corner, we got the most wonderful gift”

Creston RCMP detachment. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Creston police report: 48 calls for assistance from Oct. 19 to 26

On Oct. 25, police responded to a report of a theft of cash from a Creston business in which the suspect reached over the counter and took money from the register

The Creston Fire Rescue (CFR) insignia. File photo
Creston Fire Rescue report: nine calls for action between Oct. 19 and 25

At 9:41 a.m. on Oct. 21, CFR responded to a call of downed power-lines in the area of Fourth Avenue North and Pine Street

Brittny Anderson. Photo: Submitted
UPDATED: NDP’s Brittny Anderson named provisional winner in Nelson-Creston

The final result won’t be known until November due to mail-in ballots

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health sees 31 new cases of COVID-19 over record-breaking weekend

Eighty-six cases remain active and one person is hospitalized with the virus

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Most Read