Calgary schools need $800 million dollars in renovations

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.

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“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.

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