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B.C. puts $291.9 million towards school upgrades

B.C. puts $291.9 million towards school upgrades

VICTORIA – The Government of British Columbia is putting $291.9 million towards school maintenance projects as part of its 2024 budget.

To reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency, the provincial Ministry of Education and Childcare is providing up to $26.8 million in energy and electrical upgrades across 51 school districts through the Carbon Neutral Capital Program including upgrades of heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

The province is increasing the Annual Facility Grant by an additional $3.1 million for routine repairs throughout the year and $150.2 million is also available to districts to address maintenance needs, as well as other improvements, such as replacing playground equipment or enhancing traffic safety, a release said.

Other school spending in the budget includes $5 million annually through the Feeding Futures program to “create, improve or expand infrastructure through projects, such as food-delivery vans and kitchen upgrades, including electrical upgrades and the purchase of commercial-kitchen equipment,” the release said, as well as $23.8 million to purchase school buses, of which $9 million has been allocated for the purchase of electric school buses.

The 2024 budget includes a school capital investment of $3.75 billion over the next three years, the release added, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for new schools.

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