The Board of Trustees of Rocky View Schools (RVS) unanimously approved a proposed plan to spend Infrastructure Maintenance Renewal (IMR) funds from the provincial government at its Dec. 12 meeting.
According to Associate Superintendent of Business and Operations Darrell Couture, the amount the division has received from the provincial government for IMR projects has steadily increased in the last year. In 2017-18, the division will receive approximately $5.7 million, up 16.92 per cent from the $4.8 received in 2016-17.
“It is much appreciated and much needed in order to keep our school buildings in high functioning order,” he said. “The priorities for IMR are health and safety, building life-cycle items – roof replacements…flooring – functional modernizations to accommodate students and program enhancements.”
Couture said the increased funding means RVS is able to complete some projects that would have been difficult to impossible to do on funding of closer to the $2.9 million received in 2015-16.
Additionally, the division is able to carry over $2.8 million in funding from last year that was not spent, making this year’s IMR budget approximately $8.8 million.
Some of the projects on the list include installing a barrier free ramp system at Chestermere High School, modernization of the area by the cafeteria outside the gym at W.G. Murdoch School in Crossfield and a complete modernization of the interior of Indus School.
Trustees unanimously supported a request from administration to request permission from Alberta Education to use six English as a Second Language (ESL) programs developed by the Calgary Board of Education in high schools in RVS.
“As our ESL population grows across Rocky View this is something that we have to use in all schools,” Superintendent of Schools Greg Luterbach said.
Luterbach said the number of students requiring ESL classes is growing by approximately five per cent each year. There are currently 1,897 students requiring these kinds of specialized classes registered with the division.
A request from administration to spend $610,000 out of the division’s capital reserves was unanimously supported by trustees.
According to Couture, the funds would be used to replace old PA systems and buy furniture for a number of schools, buy new vehicles and equipment for maintenance use and to complete renovations within the RVS Education Centre on Chinook Winds Drive, including completing work on an outdoor pathway.
Couture said the bulk of the request – $250,000 – would be used to renovate the northeast wing of the Education Centre to accommodate more staff.