School district’s minor capital submission emphasizes need to replace NDSS

·2 min read

While Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools’ proposed 2022-23 minor capital plan submission does not include any items related to Gabriola Elementary, it pushes for upgrades to Nanaimo District Secondary School.

Minor capital projects can “bridge the gap” between major capital plan requirements and the annual facilities grant, the staff report on the submission says.

The submission includes 16 asks under the school enhancement program funding stream though the Ministry of Education only allows five. “Projects 6-16 are in support of previously submitted major capital projects to seismically upgrade/replace NDSS and Ladysmith Intermediate” and “indicate the critical nature of the non-seismic work” needed at the schools, the report says. The NDSS upgrades listed include electrical, roofing, flooring, washrooms and replacing the ceiling and floor trusses in the big gym.

The board of trustees will also write a letter to the Minister of Education requesting replacement of the 70-year-old NDSS “and support for appropriate seismic, environmental, ventilation and condition upgrades,” including possible replace of Ladysmith Intermediate School, which is 66 years old.

“Replacement is clearly the most cost effective and resource effective method of addressing the building conditions,” Trustee Jessica Stanley said at the Sept. 29 board meeting.

Replacing NDSS could bring the district’s greenhouse gas emissions down by 10 per cent, Secretary-Treasurer Mark Walsh told the business committee on Sept. 15.

The minor capital submission also includes requests under the carbon neutral capital program, for playground equipment and for the replacement of two buses. If supported, Walsh said the district’s fleet could be up to six electric buses by 2022.

The school district’s five-year capital plan submission, which was submitted in July, included seismic mitigation program requests for both NDSS and Gabriola Elementary.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

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