Capital Programs for Kindergarten to Grade 12

Capital funding from the provincial government covers most of the capital costs for site acquisition, new school construction and school additions or renovations. Boards of education submit capital plans that include details on school building priorities in their school districts. The provincial government establishes an overall capital budget for schools based the ministry's capital allocation. Each capital request is analyzed according to specific criteria and available resources are allocated to the highest-priority projects

The Annual Facility Grant (PDF) is part of the Asset Rehabilitation and Maintenance suite of funding programs which include the Building Envelope Program (BEP), the Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP) and the School Enhancement Program (SEP).  AFG funding is provided to boards of education to be used at their discretion to address maintenance priorities and ensure schools are safe and well-functioning.

There are 12 categories of eligible Annual Facility Grant expenditures:

  • Roof Replacements (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 building, including exterior painting, window and door replacement, building envelope repair and replacement, structural and non-structural seismic mitigation)
  • Loss Prevention (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 (mitigation and/or remediation of asbestos affected areas)
  • 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)

2018/19 Annual Facility Grant (AFG) Allocation (PDF)

The Building Envelope Program (BEP) was established in 2002 to help B.C. school districts with remediation of schools suffering damage from water ingress due to premature building envelope failure. School facilities that are eligible for funding under the BEP are facilities built between the year of 1980 and 2000, and have a risk assessment report facilitated by B.C. Housing.

The Ministry of Education will use B.C. Housing ranking of BEP projects as a guide to plan for funding future BEP projects.  B.C. Housing has established an industry-accepted repair process, and has an experienced team to effectively assess, prioritize, and project manage repairs to buildings currently affected by moisture ingress, and premature building envelope failure.

When selecting priorities for BEP funding, the school district shall consider the following:

  • Where the school is identified in B.C. Housing’s prioritization
  • Coordination with other capital program needs for the schools, such as SMP
  • The LRFP demonstrates the school district is working towards optimizing available space
  • Space within the school district and / or family of schools is optimized within reasonable proximity to the school requiring mitigation by considering operational changes or consolidation to justify the need for mitigation
  • Utilization of current enrolment and forecast growth over the next 10 years is analyzed and determined the optimal size and configuration of the school.  This information is integrated into the mitigation options
  • Previous recent projects have been delivered within the scope, schedule and budget
  • The school district has the resources to successfully deliver the project

 

Where approved by the Ministry of Education, bus acquisition funding will be based on a capital allowance.  School districts must procure their school buses using the annual Request for Standing Offer (RFSO) process managed by the Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia (ASTSBC). Details of the RFSO can be found at http://www.astsbc.org/.

Bus funding requests that will be eligible funding will consider the following;

  • School bus age and/or mileage
  • Existing buses with safety and mechanical issues
  • New school buses to support new routes due to increased district enrolments that are without current service
     

The CNCP is a $5 million/year program up to 2018/19, which is available to provide specific funding to energy-efficiency projects that lower the school districts carbon emissions.
When selecting priorities for CNCP funding, the school district shall consider the following:

  • The measurable emissions reductions and operational cost savings
  • Coordination with other capital program needs for the schools, such as Seismic Mitigation Program (SMP)
  • That the Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) demonstrates the school district is working towards optimizing available space
  • Priorities are identified that will do the greatest good for the greatest number of students
  • Previous recent projects have been delivered within the scope, schedule and budget
  • The school district has the resources to successfully deliver the project

Since the program began in 2012, school districts now achieve annual savings of more than $1.2 million in school and vehicle operating costs as well as a reduction of 4,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions as a direct result of the projects.

Carbon Tax Reimbursement

The Ministry of Education’s priority for expanding school space is to areas experiencing consistent and rapid, high density population growth due to economic development and where space optimization has been demonstrated.

The Ministry of Education requires all capital funding requests for space expansions to be supported by: 

  • A cost-benefit analysis based on the selection of the “least cost option” over the life of the school
  • Current Long Range Facilities Plan that demonstrates the school district is working towards achieving optimal space utilization
  • A verification that enrollment has increased in the area over the previous five consecutive years and the next 10 years
  • A commitment up to 50% cost share by the school district based on available capital funding

Optimal space utilization varies between large urban districts and small rural districts due to practical realities of population distribution, density, travel distances and weather extremes. Additionally, an approach to optimizing space utilization varies between school districts due to declining enrolment, stable enrolment, increasing enrolment or shifting enrolment within the school district. For most areas, a forecast of 10 years is the standard for anticipating growth and should be included when assessing utilization. 
 

Site Acquisitions

Capital requests for site acquisitions require the same provision of supporting information as requests for space expansions and the school district must have School Site Acquisition Charges (SSAC) in place before the Ministry of Education will support a site request. 
 
Once SSAC have been established in a school district, updated ten-year enrollment projections will inform the school district’s annual consultations with its local government regarding the need for new school sites and the calculated values of the per-unit SSAC. 

The PEP is an annual program that is available to provide specific funding to purchase and install new or replacement playground equipment. For either new or replacement equipment projects, the PEP will provide capital funding grants of two different amounts – $90,000 for standard playground equipment, and $105,000 for universally accessible playground equipment. 

Standard playground equipment is considered to be adventure-style playground equipment that is designed to help elementary-aged students develop physical coordination, strength and flexibility, as well as providing outdoor recreation and enjoyment. This equipment is permanently fixed on a school site, typical in a designated playground area having fall protection ground cover. 

Universally accessible playground equipment serves the same purpose as standard playground equipment, but is designed to be accessible by all elementary-aged students, including children with disabilities or developmental challenges who need to interact with playgrounds in a specialized manner, including wheelchair use. 

In both cases, funding may be applied to the purchase and installation of equipment, as well as appropriate ground cover.

 

Replacement (REP)

Where schools have reached the end of their useful life, and further investment is not substantiated due to major structural issues or the accumulation of maintenance needs that would exceed the cost of replacement, the Ministry of Education will consider submission for school replacement.

REP projects will not be eligible for capital funding consideration if adequate space is available at nearby schools to accommodate its current student enrolment, as well as forecast student enrolment growth; thus eliminating the need for capital investment.

When selecting priorities for REP funding, the school district shall consider the following:

  • an analysis of major structural deficiencies and / or the cost of addressing the maintenance requirements exceeds the cost of school replacement
  • that the LRFP demonstrates the school district is working towards optimizing available space
  • space within the school district and / or family of schools is optimized within reasonable proximity to the school requiring mitigation by considering operational changes or consolidation to justify the need for mitigation
  • utilization of current enrollment and forecast growth over the next 10 years is analyzed and determined the optimal size and configuration of the school
  • priorities are identified that will do the greatest good for the greatest number of students
  • previous recent projects have been delivered within the scope, schedule and budget
  • the school district has the resources to successfully deliver the project
  • the school district has submitted the PIR or PRFS required to support the selection of the project as a provincial priority
  • the school district has committed a 50% cost share based on available capital funding

The School Enhancement Program was launched in 2014 to help school districts extend the life of their facilities through a wide range of improvement projects, including:

  • Electrical upgrades (power supply, distribution systems)
  • Energy upgrades (LED lighting, high-efficiency boilers)
  • Health and Safety upgrades (fire systems, indoor air quality)
  • Mechanical upgrades (heating, ventilation, plumbing) 
  • Building Enclosure upgrades (roofing, exterior walls, windows)
  • Washroom upgrades
  • Flooring upgrades

Consideration will also be given to whether the project proposals:

  • Address issues affecting safety or the effective functioning of the school
  • Are in schools with unique significant importance to the school district such as those in rural areas with limited alternatives
  • Where the benefits over the costs of the improvements are positive over the appropriate time horizon for the investment

To date, over $100 million has been invested through the program. In total, almost 400 school improvement projects across the province have been funded since the program launched.

Successful projects are chosen based on need, priority and how well they support student learning and safety. 

Eligible projects must be more than $100,000, but not exceed $3,000,000.

Projects are also expected to be complete by March 31st each year.

The School Protection Program (SPP) aims to help school districts pay less for insurance premiums by providing them with professional risk management services. These services include:

  • Risk, insurance and loss funding programs
  • Claims and litigation management services
  • Risk management advice
  • Loss control inspections.

The Risk Management Branch (RMB) of the Ministry of Finance, administers and delivers SPP in conjunction with the Ministry of Education.