Langley School District will get upgrades on everything from wheelchair-accessible washrooms to electric vehicle chargers over the next year.
On Tuesday, April 19, the board of education approved the spending for the annual provincial facilities grant.
The $3,488,377 in this year’s facilities grants is to be spread over dozens of projects, many of them small upgrades and repairs.
Trustee David Tod asked about one item – $20,000 for chargers for E Transits vehicles. Tod asked if that was for Aldergrove Community Secondary, to charge the two new electric school buses planned to be used at that school.
But secretary-treasurer Brian Iseli said those chargers will be installed at the district’s maintenance yard, to get ready for the addition of electric vehicles to the maintenance vehicle fleet. The Ford E-Transit is an electric variant on the popular Ford Transit vans, which come in a variety of sizes and are used by many types of businesses and government agencies.
Money for the Aldergrove Secondary electric buses and chargers has already been put aside and the district is just waiting for them to arrive, said Iseli.
Much of the rest of the funding is for regular upgrades and maintenance.
New or repaired flooring, roofing, repainting, paving, and new doors and door handles make up a significant amount of the spending. Douglas Park, for example, is getting $400,000 for roofing, and West Langley Elementary is getting $250,000. Alice Brown Elementary is to get $150,000 for paving the front and rear parking lots.
Other spending is to upgrade schools accessibility. R.C. Garnett and Wix Brown Elementaries are getting funding to upgrade washrooms for disabled students or staff, and other schools are getting money for upgrades to elevators or accessible doors.
There is $40,000 in the budget for asbestos abatement across the district, and $50,000 for fire safety planning.
LED lighting upgrades are coming to eight schools.
The board also received a letter from the province outlining major capital projects.
Three major projects, all in development for some time, include a new addition to Langley Secondary, seismic upgrades and an addition to Peter Ewart Middle School, and the new elementary school planned for the North East Latimer area in Willoughby.
The Ministry of Education is still reviewing plans for all three projects and has not yet provided final funding.
The grant spending was approved unanimously by the board.