Feds, province to give local school boards $57M for COVID-related safety upgrades

Glebe Collegiate
Ottawa schools such as Glebe Collegiate could be getting COVID-19 safety upgrades thanks to new funding from the federal and provincial governments. Photo courtesy Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

The federal and provincial governments are giving a total of nearly $60 million to five local school boards for infrastructure upgrades in the fight against COVID-19.

In a news release Wednesday afternoon, the feds and the province said the $56.8 million in funding will go toward retrofitting and upgrading schools and attached child-care facilities across the region.

The release said projects could include renovating HVAC systems to improve air quality, installing water bottle refilling stations to boost access to safe drinking water and reconfiguring rooms with features such as new walls and doors to enhance physical distancing.

The funding will be allocated to the boards as follows:

  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board: $25.6 million
  • Ottawa Catholic School Board: $13.9 million
  • Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est: $8.9 million
  • Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario: $4.4 million
  • Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario: $4 million

The cash comes from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, a 10-year, $30-billion federal, provincial and municipal program that provides funding for public transit, recreation facilities and other community infrastructure. Ontario is investing $10.2 billion in the program.

More than $650 million from the program is being funnelled to school boards to help upgrade their facilities in a bid to make them safer for students and staff during the pandemic.