Nathan Barton Elementary will be revitalized with mechanical and electrical system upgrades, thanks to $2.2 million from the B.C. government. Not only will these upgrades improve the condition of the school, but they will also lower the school's electricity consumption.
To upgrade schools in rural communities, the Ministry of Education announced the modular school pilot program last year to see if aging facilities could be replaced with new modular classrooms. Built in 1979, Nathan Barton Elementary was one of the schools being considered under the pilot program.
Last year, the Nisga'a school district conducted an assessment of the school. It was determined that the school structure is sound and the school really required mechanical and electrical retrofits instead of classroom replacements.
Now, the Ministry of Education and the Nisga'a board of education have signed a project agreement for the school district to undertake the upgrades immediately. The retrofits include the installations of a new electric boiler, heat pumps and a digital system to control the school's ventilation and temperature. The district plans to start on the upgrades this June with expected completion in spring 2014. Once these upgrades are completed, the district will be able to cut down the electricity usage at Nathan Barton Elementary by approximately 33 per cent.
Students currently enrolled at the school will be temporarily relocated to Alvin A. McKay Middle school, which is approximately 29 kilometres from Nathan Barton Elementary. The cost of providing school bus transportation for students is included in the $2.2-million project funding.
Don McRae, Minister of Education -
"Schools are more than a place where students learn-in rural communities, they also play an important role in local residents' lives, as families gather for events and meetings at schools.
It is excellent news that we'll be able to make the necessary mechanical and electrical upgrades to Nathan Barton Elementary school, so it can continue to be an important part of Kincolith in the future."
Peter Leeson, Nisga'a board of education chair -
"Nathan Barton Elementary has served students in Kincolith for more than 30 years and it is an important part of our community. We are excited to proceed with planning on the mechanical and electrical upgrades to this school, now that we have signed the project agreement with the Ministry of Education.
The provincial funding will be put to great use at Nathan Barton Elementary. With B.C. government's support, we will be able to improve the school so it can benefit our students and local families in the future."
- There are currently 53 students enrolled at Nathan Barton Elementary school.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $144,000 in SD 92 for their StrongStart BC Outreach Program.
- Since 2001, the government has spent more than $2.4 billion to complete 96 new and replacement schools, 151 additions, 27 renovations and 25 site acquisitions across B.C.
BC's Education Plan: www.BCEdPlan.ca
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education