McBride Secondary going green

by EVAN MATTHEWS 

McBride Secondary School will become more energy efficient due to $345,000 in funding from the provincial Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP).

School District 57 (SD57) will use the funding to replace the school’s boiler, according to a press release, which will cut down greenhouse gas emissions and save on water costs.

The full $345,000 will be allocated to McBride Secondary, according to SD57, saying the project will be a “complete update to heating and ventilation.”

“It’ll be great for the students studying in McBride,” says Marilyn Marquis-Forster, superintendent of schools for SD57. “It’s a good investment in the future.”

The CNCP gives school districts a total of $5M annually to fund green projects and initiatives cutting greenhouse gas emissions, according to the province.

These upgrades benefit schools by saving them money on electricity, natural gas and maintenance, the statement from the province reads, so the schools can put the money they save on energy back into classrooms.

This year $4.8 million worth of projects have been approved province-wide, the press release reads.

School districts applied for funding by sending proposals to the Ministry of Education.

Projects were selected based on the specific needs of each district, how well they would save money by boosting energy efficiency, and the school district and energy service provider contributions, according to the province.

“Our district did apply for this CNCP and was approved,” says Marquis-Forster. “(The upgrades) are going to take place over two years.”

Since 2012, the B.C. government has funded almost $25 million in projects under the CNCP. These capital investments help school districts lower their carbon emissions by using more efficient technology in school buildings.

Because of its success in Kindergarten to grade 12 schools, according to the government, the CNCP was expanded to the health and post-secondary sectors in 2014.

In addition to the CNPC funding, the provincial government announced in May that it would be redirecting $622,655 in administrative savings back to SD57, in order to help it deal with local cost pressures and provide front line services for students.

The school district can use this funding as it sees fit, according to the government, things such as ongoing classroom programs, hiring new teachers, or for busing.

“SD57 has worked very hard to ensure that students receive the very best educational opportunities possible. In our regular meetings with the Board they made it clear that they were facing budget challenges,” Bond said in a May press release. “I know that the ability to use these funds to support classrooms will be welcome news.”

School districts, including SD57, according to the government, have been informed they will not have to pay their share of $25 million worth of provincial charges this year, and instead can redirect that money into frontline services for students.

Again, over two weeks, SD57 did not respond to The Goat to discuss what “frontline services” could mean, or where the money would be spent.

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