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Cash for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows schools

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The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district is getting $2.3 million to take care of its aging facilities, and it plans to spend every penny.

The annual facilities grant is intended to help school districts maintain and upgrade schools and sports facilities. However, two years ago, the provincial government withheld the grant, leaving many school districts without such funding.

Unlike many school districts, though, School District No. 42 was sitting on a surplus of facilities grant funds.

“We were very conservative in our spending at the time, so we weren’t as affected as other districts,” said secretary treasurer Wayne Jefferson.

This time around, Jefferson said the district plans to spend all of its facilities grant.

“They told us to spend the money, so that’s what we’re doing,” he said.

As a result, if the school district were to have a major roof failure, it would not have funds in reserve to cover the cost of repairs. However, Jefferson said the district could apply for emergency funding from the province

The vast majority of work will take place over the summer months. Major projects include roof replacements at Garibaldi secondary ($297,610) and Glenwood elementary ($291,638), renovations to Albion elementary’s gym ($300,000), a boiler upgrade at Eric Langton elementary ($210,000), and exterior painting across the district ($305,397).

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