SD 54. (Houston Today File photo)

SD54 receives over $1.6 million in provincial funding

Funding will go toward Silverthorne Elementary HVAC upgrades and purchasing two new buses

School District 54 (SD54) will receive $1.6 million in provincial funding to improve schools.

The funding falls under three streams, the School Enhancement Program (SEP), the Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP) and the Bus Acquisition Program (BUS)

In total, the province announced $240.5 million a 10.5 per cent increase over last year’s funding according to a news release issued by the Ministry of Education.

“With over 1,500 public schools throughout our province, maintaining and improving our facilities is a critical priority to ensure students are learning in healthy, efficient and positive environments, no matter where they live,” said Jennifer Whiteside, minister of education. “From ventilation and heating, to energy efficiency and lighting, increased maintenance funding allows districts to tackle immediate priorities and focus on providing the best learning experience possible for every B.C. student.”

“The school district appreciates the Ministry of Education supporting our significant capital needs for aging facilities, including heating and ventilation. This helps to improve our District’s energy efficiency, carbon footprint and supports our board’s environmental movement towards carbon neutrality,” said Dave Margerm, secretary-treasurer of the school district.

According to Margerm, this funding is very important because it will support the heating and ventilation upgrade system at Silverthorne Elementary in Houston and buy two buses worth $283,682.

“With a total of $1,362,488 in announced funding for the 2021-2022 year, the school district expects to complete the Silverthorne HVAC project in the 2022-2023 year with a second application for Ministry funding,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed by March 31, 2022.

Overall, the funding will facilitate improved HVAC systems for 84 schools, other improvements for 66 schools, energy system upgrades at 66 schools and 100 new buses including electric buses, province-wide.

The school district is now expecting an announcement with another round of funding for school playgrounds in the near future.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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