Four buses earmarked in School District 73’s long-range facilities plan, along with dust collectors and a boiler, are being funded by the provincial government — and the school district has its sights set on a few larger requests this spring.
The Ministry of Education has announced $1.8 million in funding for the Kamloops-Thompson school district, which will be spent on the dust-collector systems in trades classrooms at Logan Lake and NorKam secondary schools and on a new energy-efficient condensing boiler at Bert Edwards Science and Technology.
The additional four buses that will serve new routes in the 2019-2020 school year were pegged by SD73 at a cost of about $560,000 — funds that now will not have to come out of local reserve funds.
Grants for the dust collector upgrades came in at $485,000 each, the district received $220,000 for the new boiler and $591,138 for the buses.
The $1.7 million received by SD73 is part of $206 million the province is supplying school districts for energy upgrades, maintenance projects and new buses.
The provincial funding comes in response to the SD73’s 2019-2020 five-year capital plan, submitted to the education ministry prior to June 30, 2018, and is for small capital items that are funded through the ministry’s school enhancement program, the carbon neutral capital program and the bus acquisition program.
The district has another opportunity this June to submit additional capital requests and plans to ask the government for money to build an addition at Westmount Elementary (estimated cost of $8 million), build a new school in the Pineview Valley area (estimated cost of $18 million), construct a new gym and more classrooms at South Kamloops secondary (estimated cost of $20 million) and build a new K-12 school in Sun Peaks — all priorities identified in SD73’s facilities plan.
SD73 is still awaiting an announcement from the province regarding approved funding to expand overcrowded Valleyview secondary at an estimated cost of $24 million, money SD73 secretary-treasurer Kelvin Stretch said he is confident will be coming from the ministry.