The price tag for much-needed renovations at Calgary public schools is pushing $800 million, according to the Calgary Board of Education.
The last major project was launched four years ago, when Western Canada High School received $35 million.
That work is nearing completion, but other schools are stuck in the queue.
The CBE says they need $40 million a year just to maintain the status quo.
Right now, the board gets about half that.
“If we can’t, for example, replace the boilers… we can’t maintain a reasonable temperature in the building and so we’d have to close the school,” says Frank Coppinger, CBE Facilities and Environment Services.
It’s a dire situation for all those involved, as 40 per cent of all public schools in Calgary are over 50 years old.
“At some point schools won’t have to be closed, they’ll have to be demolished. In the end, it will be cheaper to build a new school,” says Jenny Regal, Calgary Public Teachers.
Education minister Thomas Lukaszuk says he’ll look into the numbers, but says he doesn’t want to renovate schools that are under-utilized.