School boards across Nova Scotia are taking advantage of students’ summer vacation to finish building repairs and they find this year, there’s more money from the province to get the work done.
The Nova Scotia Education Department’s capital repairs fund increased by $9 million to a total of $15 million to be spent this year. The influx of cash will fund projects at 50 schools.
The Chignecto Central School Board has a dozen projects planned for this summer. The most expensive is a roof replacement at Thorburn Consolidated School, estimated at $385,000.
School board spokesperson Debbie Buott-Matheson says the extra money is welcome news.
“The money is going to cover a series of roof replacements, window replacements and some security upgrades.”
In total, the Chignecto Central will receive $2.65 million. Buott-Matheson says the money will mean getting to repairs that would not easily fit into annual budgets.
'It allows us to do some proactive repair work so that, especially with our roofs and windows, the building envelopes remain sound and we’re not dealing with larger issues down the road.' - Debbie Buotte-Matheson
“It allowed us to actually get to these projects far more quickly than we would have had we had to work it into our operational services budget going forward," she says.
More important, according to Buott-Matheson, is doing smaller repairs now, to avoid a larger expense later on.
“This is allowing us to complete 12 projects in total. That in itself is very, very welcome news to us,” she says. “It allows us to do some proactive repair work so that, especially with our roofs and windows, the building envelopes remain sound and we’re not dealing with larger issues down the road.”
The Halifax Regional School Board has 15 projects on the capital repair list and all but four of them are for roof replacements.
Roof replacements are common on the capital repairs list, with every provincial school board in Nova Scotia with at least one roof replacement planned.
The South Shore Regional School Board is taking a different focus. They will be tackling aging fuel tanks.
The board put out a tender this week for tank replacements at three separate schools, Hebbville Academy, Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy and West Northfield Elementary.
In the Halifax Regional School Board, roof replacements are the predominant repair, but Leslie Thomas Junior High and Rocky Lake Junior High will both see the completion of their elevator installation.
The Tri-County Regional School Board has the shortest repair list, with only three schools facing construction. An estimated $350,000 will be spent at Lockeport Elementary on roof and window replacement. The skilled trades classrooms at Barrington Municipal High School will also be renovated.