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Rossland Summit School heating system to get a facelift

The school district will be given up to a maximum of $306,593 to replace the aging boilers and it could also remedy the drinking water.

The city’s public school heating system is about to get a facelift.

As part of a provincial carbon cutting initiative the school district will be given up to a maximum of $306,593 to replace the aging boilers at Rossland Summit School (RSS)—projected to save the district $15,000 per year.

School District 20 board chair Darrell Ganzert said the grant money coming from the Ministry of Education is specific for the project.

Although improving the efficiency of the heating system for the school—expected to be completed later this year—is paramount, the district will be looking to stretch its dollars on the project.

“If we can get a sweet deal we might be able to clean up a lot more than just the boiler,” said Ganzert, but take care of the drinking water problem at the school as well. “So we’re going to try and do the most we can with that money in Rossland.”

According to the district’s facility review, improving the drinking water for the fountains in Rossland is high on the list. Students at RSS have been drinking bottled water since lead was found in the water in 2009.

If the extra money can’t be found in the boiler project, Ganzert said the district is working at getting the province to free up $750,000 from the sale of MacLean Elementary School to allow it, among other things, to help resolve the drinking water issue in Rossland.

The money is locked into a restricted capital fund—one which the province says the district must earmark for the construction of new schools.

In early February the school district applied to the province to release capital funds from the sale of Rossland’s MacLean School.

Ganzert said the district used all of its capital reserve money last year to convert Rossland Secondary School to an elementary school.

“Now we are down to zero in that fund. We would like to replenish that fund and, in so doing, fix that drinking water in Rossland,” he said.

Should the ministry decide against releasing funds, then replacing RSS lead water pipes will be deferred and added to the list of capital priorities.