By Mike Baker
Trillium Lakelands District School Board is receiving around $7.5 million in additional COVID-19 relief funding from the provincial and federal governments.
In a release to media last week, Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, said the money is being allocated to upgrade infrastructure at local schools to protect against COVID-19.
“The health and wellbeing of students remains the highest priority for our government,” Scott said. “Building on previous investments, this funding will help support important upgrades for local schools.”
The federal government is investing up to $525.2 million this year to go towards a variety of infrastructure projects at elementary schools and high schools all across the country through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program [ICIP], with the province contributing approximately $131.3 million to the initiative.
The money can be used by TLDSB to support building retrofits, updates and upgrades to existing facilities and co-located child care centres. Projects can include HVAC renovations to improve air quality, installing water bottle refilling stations to improve access to safe drinking water, and space reconfigurations such as new wells and doors to enhance physical distancing.
Jamie Schmale, MP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock was pleased to see funds allocated to rural communities such as Haliburton County.
“As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, this additional federal and provincial funding will help keep our local schools as safe as possible for both students and staff,” Schmale said. “This investment will benefit students now and in the future by supporting a healthier school environment.”
Ontario schools have been provided with more than $1.6 billion to better protect students, staff and families since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, with additional supports offered for enhancing online learning, promoting student mental health, hiring additional staff and making improvements to air quality and ventilation at schools.