BOW VALLEY – A stimulus plan for Alberta's schools will see Canadian Rockies Public Schools receive $2.5 million for school maintenance projects this year.
At its April board meeting, officials with the school division said they submitted a list of facility maintenance projects to Alberta Education for consideration as part of anticipated stimulus spending, which was announced Wednesday (May 20).
Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange said capital funding for school divisions has been increased by $250 million to create jobs and support the economic recovery.
"We're getting Albertans back to work by investing in hundreds of infrastructure and renewal projects in schools across the province," LaGrange said during a press conference. "This is great news for staff and students who will benefit from more modern learning environments."
The provincial announcement stated that specific projects would be confirmed by the beginning of June, with work expected to be complete by October.
"Increased funding for capital maintenance and renewal – along with 74 school projects in design, planning and construction – will create jobs when we need them most, while enhancing the value and lifespan of our province’s infrastructure," said Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda.
While there are no new schools planned in the Bow Valley, Canadian Rockies Public Schools began to look at its next four-year planning cycle for facility maintenance at the beginning of 2020.
Director of technology, learning and facilities Steve Greene told the board in April that when the province asked for potential maintenance projects for funding consideration, some of that work had already been done with consultants Johnsons Control.
"The province announced a four-day window [to submit projects] and we were able to re-connect with Johnsons Control and put a plan together rather quickly and put a proposal into the province," he said.
While classes have been cancelled at local schools, Greene told the board the division has been working on its annual maintenance plan.
"We are doing work in our buildings across the district we normally would not be doing right now," he said.
"From a building and maintenance perspective, we are really trying to, I guess in one sense, take advantage of the opportunity presented to us and keep our schools in the best shape possible moving forward."
That includes replacing the decking at Canmore Collegiate High School and roofing work at Banff Community High School, for example.