Students return to class Sept. 6.

More money announced to fix up schools

But Sooke education board chair not sure money will flow this way

  • Sep. 2, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Bob Phillips calls it “encouraging” that the B.C. Education Ministry is handing out another $20 million in extra cash to fix up schools, but he’s not so sure any money will come Sooke’s way.

“I’m sort of wondering if more money is available that we won’t be on the shortlist this time,” said Phillips, chair of the board of education.

“We’ve gotten our fair share of that kind of money from the government.”

Over the last few years, the school district completed construction of Belmont and Royal Bay high schools, seismic upgrades at Ruth King elementary and Spencer middle, an addition to Happy Valley elementary, boiler and roof replacement at Edward Milne community school and “deluxe” portables at Sooke elementary.

Phillips said local school trustees would need to debate what is needed in the district before applying for new funding.

Last Wednesday, Education Minister Mike Bernier announced what he called “school enhancement” funds for B.C. public schools.

Districts can resubmit applications that didn’t make it in the “fix-it” fund announced in May, which grew from $40 million to $45 million as successful projects were announced. Replacement flooring is now eligible, along with plumbing, heating, roof replacement, windows, lighting and electrical upgrades.

Bernier and Premier Christy Clark have rolled out a series of education funding top-ups since June, including a transportation fund to keep districts from charging for bus service, a fund designated to keep rural schools open and the return of $25 million in “administrative savings” that the education ministry required for the last two years.

The fix-it fund is in addition to the province’s annual ministry budget, which includes $1.7 billion over three years for new schools and major projects such as seismic upgrades.

Phillips said the Sooke school district has always attempted to have an open dialogue with the province, no matter if it was the NDP or Liberals in office.

“We’ve tried so hard over the years to have good relationship with governments because we believe that’s the way to do things credibly,” Phillips said.

 

Just Posted

Single parent resource centre continues operations in partially-condemned building

Victoria’s 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre moves back into heritage home

Townhouses on the rise in popularity in Greater Victoria

A report finds 152 townhouse units in the construction pipeline and coming onto market in 2020.

Annual Oak Bay Collector Car Festival expects 15,000 spectators

July 28 show features a pair of super cars that won prestigious awards at the Detroit Autorama show

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read