FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The province announced $240.5 million in school maintenance grants on Tuesday, a 10.5 per cent increase from last year.

School District 59 is getting just over $2 million. The grant will pay for HVAC system upgrades at Dawson Creek Secondary, Chetwynd Secondary, and Windrem Elementary. McLeod Elementary Secondary will get roofing upgrades, and the school district will get four new buses.

School District 60 will receive just under $1.5 million. Bert Ambrose Elementary will get exterior wall system upgrades, HVAC and LED lighting upgrades to North Peace Secondary, Hudson’s Hope, Dr. Kearney Middle, and Bert Bowes Middle. Three new buses are also included in the grants for SD 60.

The province is using $15 million of the grant funding to buy more than 100 new buses.

Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation Bruce Ralston says this will put future generations on a road to cleaner energy.

“Not only are these electric school buses reducing air pollution, but they also cost less over time to operate,” said Ralston.

The Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP) increased to $23 million this year, funding projects that increase efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Examples of this include HVAC upgrades, LED lighting, and solar panels.

Through the CNCP stream, HVAC upgrades will be funded for 84 schools, electrical upgrades for 66 schools, and energy system improvements for 26 schools across British Columbia.

“Our children and grandchildren deserve every opportunity for a healthy, clean future and our investment in better learning environments through CleanBC is one of the best we can make to see that happen,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “That’s why we’re providing more funding than ever before to help reduce pollution through better schools, more electric school buses and expanded renewable energy.”