Annual Facility Grant

Date came into force or revised

Issued May 31, 2002

Revised December 7, 2012

Status 

Current Policy

Policy statement

The Annual Facility Grant is intended for annual facility projects required to maintain facility assets through their anticipated economic life and to prevent premature deterioration of these assets.

Rationale or purpose of policy

The Annual Facility Grant was originally introduced as the 'Facilities Shareable Capital Allowance' in the 1988/89 school year. In recognition of the need for routine maintenance of school facilities, especially regarding roofs, this allowance was provided as part of school boards' operating budgets as a supplementary funding source for projects regularly required to extend the life of existing facilities.

Previously, these types of minor projects were funded only through the Ministry's capital envelope, and therefore subject to competing priorities for available provincial funding for the purpose of maintaining property eligible for capital funding support.

Authority

Section 1 (1) of the School Act (PDF) provides definitions of annual facility grant, annual facility expenditure, and annual facility project.

Section 115.1 of the School Act (PDF) provides the Minister with the authority to make annual facility grants to school boards.

Section 141 (1) of the School Act (PDF) provides school boards with the authority to spend money on annual facility projects.

Policy in full

The amount of a board of education's annual facility grant will be calculated by the Ministry of Education using a formula based on student enrolment and average age of facilities, with an adjustment made for unique geographic factors.

A board of education may expend its annual facility grant for the purpose of:

  • upgrading or replacing existing facility components throughout the expected economic life of an existing capital asset;
  • enhancing the service potential of an existing capital asset or a component of an existing capital asset by correcting deficiencies in design or construction, and unsafe conditions;
  • significantly lowering the associated operating costs of an existing capital asset; or
  • extending the life of an existing capital asset or a component of an existing capital asset beyond its original life expectancy.

A board of education is responsible for managing its annual facility grant funds to enable any emergent health and safety expenditures to be addressed within a fiscal year.

There are 12 categories of eligible annual facility grant expenditures:

  • Roof Replacements (including scheduled roof replacements and major roof repairs)
  • Mechanical System Upgrades (improvements, replacements or provision of heating, ventilation, air conditioning or plumbing systems)
  • Electrical System Upgrades (improvements or replacements of power supply and distribution systems)
  • Facility Upgrades (improvements to protect the fabric of the plant, including exterior painting, window and door replacement, building envelope repair and replacement, structural and nonstructural seismic mitigation)
  • Loss Prevention Projects (improvements, replacements or provision of fire protection system)
  • Functional Improvements (improvements of school facilities related to the provision of educational programming)
  • Technology Infrastructure Upgrades (improvements to accommodate computer and telecommunications networks)
  • Site Upgrades (site improvements including positive site drainage; repairs to sidewalks, parking lots, site access/egress, paved work areas, paved play areas, and play fields; repairs, upgrading or replacement of playground equipment; perimeter safety fencing; contaminated soil remediation; underground storage tanks removal)
  • Disabled Access (improvements related to access for persons with physical disabilities)
  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Health and Safety Upgrades (improvements related to indoor air quality, , traffic safety, and non-structural upgrades)
  • Site Servicing (improvements, replacements or provision of sewer, drainage or water services; underground irrigation systems).

Expenditures for annual facility projects may include any associated consultant fees.

Examples of ineligible use of annual facility grants include:

  • building expansions resulting in increases to gross facility area or nominal capacity
  • building acquisitions
  • site acquisitions
  • acquisition of equipment, furnishings, personal computers and peripherals, servers, or vehicles and their accessories.

Procedures related to policy

The Annual Facility Grant (AFG) is a grant paid to Boards of Education. This grant should be placed in the annual facility grant special purpose fund.

Each board of education is encouraged to develop a long-term maintenance plan that articulates a board of education's strategy with regard to maintaining or improving the condition of facilities within its inventory of capital assets. Each board should coordinate its AFG expenditures with its regular operations and maintenance activities, local capital expenditures and any major capital replacement or rejuvenation projects.

To comply with Treasury Board direction, each school district must annually provide the Ministry with an AFG project and spending plan prior to the allocation of AFG funding. Specifically, each school district’s plan will include a list of AFG projects and expenditures expected to be undertaken during the fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st).

Each school district will be granted a single Certificate of Approval (COA) for the capital allocation needed to complete the planned AFG projects. A standard capital bylaw will be required prior to the issue of the COA. In accordance with Provincial Treasury policy, draws against the COA cannot occur until capital project expenditures have been made.

At the end of each school year, boards of education must report on actual AFG expenditures as part of their audited financial statements. The Ministry may request further details with respect to annual facility projects and annual facility expenditures for a given school year.