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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

RDCK to implement new emergency alert notification system

System also includes sends alerts for water advisories

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Traffic finally eases along Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists were stuck for up to six hours in ferry lineups over the weekend

Shoppers Drug Mart launches in-store virtual service at several B.C. stores

The service is now available in 12 rural B.C. communities and will expand province-wide in August

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read