Getting to “yes” on school construction projects is about balancing the unique needs of the 60 school districts in B.C. with provincial priorities and the best interest of the taxpayer.
Government works with school districts to develop long-term plans that address capital planning, the scale and scope of major seismic upgrades and community growth.
The three top priorities for allocating funding for school projects are:
- Addressing high priority safety issues, like high risk seismic mitigation or structural issues.
- Adding classrooms in areas of rapid residential growth.
- Ensuring schools are well-maintained, well-functioning and last.
- The steps to approving capital projects include:
- School districts list priorities based on current and predicted student numbers arising from community development and school condition through their Annual 5-Year Capital Plan submissions.
- The Ministry of Education evaluates all 60 of these plans to determine provincial priorities.
- For projects supported to move forward, districts may be asked to develop detailed plans that outline cost, scope, and benefit.
- Each year, the Ministry seeks funding approval for its overall capital budget and projects.
- Once approval is received, a project agreement is negotiated with the school district and signed. This authorizes the school district to proceed to detailed engineering, tender and construction.
- Since 2001, more than $4.5 billion in capital funding has seen:
- 192 school additions completed
- 164 seismic high-risk school replacements or upgrades completed
- 123 new and replacement schools built
- almost 623 school enhancement projects completed
- 32 sites acquired
- 30 school renovations
- Over the next three years government will invest $2 billion to replace aging facilities, build more student spaces in growing communities, improve seismic safety and ensure schools are well-functioning and equipped.
- Since B.C.'s School Enhancement Program was launched in 2014, government has provided over $153 million to help school districts extend the life of their schools through repairs, upgrades and energy efficient projects.
- In total, almost 623 school improvement projects across the province have been completed or approved under the SEP.
For more information about capital investments in specific school districts, go to: http://ow.ly/BgX130aBcGh
Government Communications and Public EngagementMinistry of Education