Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.

SD5 receives $1.5 million for school facility upgrades, new buses

The province has granted $1.5 million to the Southeast Kootenay school district, which will be used for minor capital projects at schools in Cranbrook and the Elk Valley.

The funding is being distributed through different funding streams with varying objectives. For example, the School Enhancement Program is providing funding towards plumbing upgrades at Mount Baker Secondary School.

Under the Carbon Neutral Capital program, funding will also go towards electrical upgrades at Rocky Mountain Elementary in Elkford and Sparwood Secondary.

Additionally, funding has also been provided to purchase two new school buses.

“We are making historic investments in school capital projects across the province,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education, in a news release. “Schools are the cornerstones of our communities, and our government is continuing to invest in our school infrastructure to ensure that our kids have clean, safe, modern places to learn, grow and play.”

According to the province, approximately $261 million is being dedicated for school maintenance projects in Budget 2023.

Some of that provincial funding breaks down to $41 million to upgrade heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems at 101 schools, $13 million for 67 new school buses and $23 million for energy and electrical upgrades at 86 schools.

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