The Central Okanagan School District has to curtail its school enhancement project spending wishlist for the 2019-20 school year.
The ministry of education has told the school district to limit its requests to projects with an estimated cost of $500,000.
Among the school district’s school enhancement capital plan of 22 projects included washroom upgrades at Mount Boucherie Secondary ($590,000); boiler and geo-thermal field (phase one, $1,020,000) and classroom mechanical upgrade (phase two, $2,450,000) at KLO Middle; and mechanical system upgrades at Glenrosa Middle, (phase one, $1,300,000), Anne McClymont Elementary (phase one, $787,000) and Peachland Elementary (phase one, $1,025,000).
At last Wednesday’s Central Board of Education meeting, the trustees adopted a resolution to focus the top priority for funding on the Mount Boucherie washroom upgrade, which has already seen the first phase completed and is considered an emergent need.
Eileen Sadlowski, secretary-treasurer/CFO of the school district, said the education ministry has informed the school district in advance of a change in funding policy for school enhancement requests.
“They are not really cutting back the funding overall necessarily, but they are trying to spread the available funding across all school districts,” Sadlowski said.
“So the ministry has actually been very forthcoming in telling us now to consider projects with an approximate cost of $500,000. They are telling us any funding requests above that will not likely receive funding consideration this year.”
School infrastructure capital funding from the education ministry falls into three categories—new schools, replacement schools and school enhancement projects.
The capital funding allocations from the ministry will be announced this spring in conjunction with the release of the provincial government’s operating budget for 2019-20.