A file photo of Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School in West Toronto from 2009. TCDSB is getting a large injection of cash from the province for renewal projects over the next two years. Photo/SimonP via Wikimedia Commons

TCDSB to get huge increase in renewal projects funding

By 
  • July 5, 2016

TORONTO – Ontario's largest Catholic school board expects a huge increase in funding for renewal projects over the next two years following an injection of capital from the provincial government. 

"We believe that the total funding for renewal over the next two years will be in the order of $107 million, which is about $40 million more than the current allocations," said Angelo Sangiorgio, Toronto Catholic's associate director of planning and facilitates. "The additional funding will help us do a greater amount of critical building repairs and upgrades such as roof, windows, boiler, life safety systems, site work and interior upgrades." 

The board currently receives $33 million annually from the government to cover capital projects. But that has not been nearly enough to keep up with a backlog of maintenance and repair projects on aging infrastructure. There is a current $625 million deferred maintenance backlog, Sangiorgio said.

Among some of the larger projects are electrical and security upgrades at Notre Dame High School, brick and front entrance repairs at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Moore Catholic Secondary School and the restoration of the ravine neighbouring St. John Paul XIII Catholic School as well as upgrading the exterior lighting. 

These projects are to get underway this summer and are expected to be completed before year end at a cost of $1.5 million each or more. 

On June 27 the government announced an additional $1.1 billion to be allocated for the repair and renewal of the province's publicly funded schools over the next two years. 

"Investing in our schools is one of the most important infrastructure investments we can make for nearly two million students in Ontario," said Mitzie Hunter, who became the Minister of Education in early June. "Our government believes in better buildings for better learning and wellbeing. Making sure our schools across the province are in a state of good repair is an essential part of supporting student achievement."      

Hunter noted that about half of the 4,900 school buildings fully-funded by the province are at least 40 years old. She called the $1.1 billion "urgently needed to address school boards' urgent, growing renewal and repair backlog.

"A school with a long list of repairs, antiquated components or inefficient systems is not serving students at a level they desire," she said.                                                                                                                                                            

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