It is the policy of the Board of School Trustees (the "Board") to strive for school buildings and grounds that will offer the best possible environment, within financial limitations, for learning and teaching. The Board specifically aims towards:
- planning new buildings and alterations that support the Board's educational philosophy and goals;
- building and remodelling facilities that are safe and healthy for the people who use them;
- building and remodelling facilities that are accessible to disabled persons, within the practical limitations of the district's physical plant and financial resources;
- choosing building and remodelling designs that facilitate low maintenance and the conservation of energy.
The Board undertakes projects within the following two basic categories:
Capital Projects (funded from the Ministry of Education Capital funding): Those projects that provide new space (new school or addition) or rejuvenate or replace existing space.
Maintenance and Renovation Projects (funded from operating/Annual Capital Grant budgets): Those projects intended to maintain, repair or upgrade existing space. Projects include, but are not limited to, roof replacement, mechanical and electrical system upgrades, building fabric restoration, loss prevention, asbestos abatement, non-structural seismic hazard reduction, access for the physically disabled, technology infrastructure upgrades, site servicing and upgrades, health and safety upgrades and functional improvements.
In planning any facility changes, it is standard practice to consult with schools. The relevant sections of the School Act, the Provincial Building Code, and the directives of the Ministry of Education will be observed in all facilities planning.
Facilities for the Physically Disabled
Part 10 of the Provincial Building Code requires that buildings be constructed to provide the disabled access to all areas of the building. In the case of new schools, this means that disabled persons, especially those in wheelchairs, will be able to gain access to all floors of a school building as well as to a special washroom facility.
To make provision for disabled persons using school buildings, the Board adopts the following policy:
- provisions for the physically disabled will be made in all new school construction;
- provisions for the physically disabled will be made where practical in existing schools when these buildings are undergoing a major renovation.
Creative Play Areas
On existing sites that have been developed to existing standards, if requested at the local level and if the area of the site is such that a creative/adventure play area can be provided without restricting other playground facilities, school raised funds can be used for the provision of a creative/adventure play area. Design of creative play areas will be done with consultation and approval of the Maintenance and Construction Department. (NOTE: This paragraph relocated)
The Board adopted a policy of being in favour of creative playgrounds and supporting the establishment of these as a positive learning opportunity:
- "That elementary schools be eligible for a grant up to $6,000, on a one-time only basis, for a creative play area project, including appropriate resilient surface material, when the total estimated cost of the project is in excess of $9,000. For creative play area projects costing less than $9,000, the Board grant be pro-rated downward for every $300 unit."
- "That annexes be eligible for a grant up to $3,000, one a one-time only basis, for a creative play area project, including appropriate resilient surface material, when the total estimated cost is in excess of $4,500. For creative play area projects costing less than $4,500, the Board grant be pro-rated downward for every $300 unit."
N.B. This funding arrangement is on hold as a result of a Board moratorium due to budget restraint.
In order to ensure the quality and safety of these playground projects, the Board Maintenance and Construction Department will inspect and approve the equipment before it is accepted as a regular component of the school playground. The Maintenance and Construction Department will also inspect and repair this equipment at least twice annually as part of its routine ground maintenance program.
Upgrading Existing Creative Play Areas
On school sites that have existing creative/adventure play areas or playground equipment, school raised funds may be used for the upgrading, addition, or replacement of equipment as part of a playground improvement project. The playground modifications should be developed in such a way as to meet safety standards of the day and to minimize any restrictions on the remaining playground area.
The Board supports locally-initiated projects that improve the quality of the play equipment and provide greater opportunities for recreational and educational uses of school sites. Schools that have already received play area grants should be encouraged to develop further the playgrounds or creative play areas if deemed beneficial to the overall school environment and needs of the students.
Schools are eligible for a maximum grant of $3,000, on a one-time basis, for a playground upgrading project, provided that at least an equal amount is contributed by the school or other community funding sources. For local contributions of less than $3,000, the Board will provide a matching grant. Schools may apply for a grant seven (7) years after receiving any other contribution to a play area project.
N.B. This funding arrangement is on hold as a result of a Board Moratorium due to budget restraint.
DMT Responsibility: D-FSS