SJ Burnside and Victoria High Project Funding

There have been several publications and falsehoods made on social media regarding the funding for SJ Burnside and the Victoria High Seismic Project, inferring that $2M from Vic High’s Seismic upgrade funding was used to pay for a cost overrun from another project. This is incorrect and we are here to provide the facts to contribute to accurate public discourse.

To clarify, the claim that a deficit from the SJ Burnside project took away funding from the Vic High seismic project and Vic High’s amenities is not true.

Please review the following facts below:

  • The $2M shortfall of SJ Burnside Educational Centre was attended through the means of:
    1. Technology replacement reserve
    2. Ministry Restricted Capital
    3. Local capital set aside for Vic High Seismic Project (NOT Ministry $77.1M funding nor $4.1 – $4.5M Caledonia proceeds including amenities funding)
    4. Local capital set aside for Shoreline Seismic Project (NOT Ministry funding yet to be announced)
    5. Surplus from Quadra Warehouse Project
  • Further, Local capital dollars are accumulated in two ways at the Board’s discretion as follows:
    1. Monies the Board sets aside on an annual basis from Operating funds.
    2. Past property dispositions where property and buildings were shared with the MOE upon acquisition/construction.  Vic High is a future disposition; therefore, it is not included in the current local capital balance used to fund the Burnside project.
  • The District’s cost-sharing of $2.6M on the Vic High Project is due to the high costs of the seismic option, which includes preserving the school’s heritage elements. The Ministry is providing us with $77.1M, and the estimated cost of the project is $79.7M, which includes the cost to renovate SJ Willis to accommodate students while Vic High is upgraded.
  • All school districts are required to contribute to capital projects. This money can come from Operating funds, Local Capital or Ministry of Education Restricted Capital.
  • Local capital is allocated solely at the discretion of the Board.
  • There was and continues to be $500K earmarked from future local capital for the Vic High project.
  • A motion was passed in-camera in June 2019 to temporarily reallocate the $500K to cover a funding shortfall at SJ Burnside due to the timing of incoming revenue. Upon future receipt of local capital, the $500K will be allocated back to the Vic High Seismic Project as the Board had originally intended.
  • A motion was not tabled to show future local capital coming back to Vic High because the Board has every intention to use the Caledonia proceeds towards Vic High. When the district allocates upcoming proceeds in Local Capital for the Vic High project, a motion will come forward at that time.
  • It’s important to note that the Ministry has also taken $2M off the District’s contribution to the Vic High Project due to the District’s $2M local capital contribution to SJ Burnside.  This positioned the school district to only have to contribute the $2.6M to the Vic High project rather than $4.6M.
  • The $2M funding shortfall at SJ Burnside has not taken anything away from the Vic High project.
  • The $2M funding shortfall at SJ Burnside has not been funded by any Vic High Ministry funding nor Caledonia proceeds.


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