Schools across the Fraser Cascade are getting spruced up for September, from new fields in Boston Bar to new lighting in Harrison Hot Springs.
The field upgrade in Boston Bar is one of the biggest projects this year. A proper water source for sprinkling wasn’t available until recently, leaving the school fields to die off each year.
“We now have a good source of water,” said Mike Repstock, maintenance supervisor for School District 78, and can keep the fields green for a longer playing season for students.
There has also been some improvements to security at one school, in an effort to combat vandalism.
Hope secondary school now has an exterior camera installed. Repstock said using security cameras within the school system isn’t new, and has shown success in the past.
“We put cameras at Silver Creek elementary, which used to be a high vandalism area,” he said. “And we’ve had very little trouble there since.”
And the two times there has been vandalism at Silver Creek since the installation of the cameras, suspects were easily identified through video footage.
Keeping vandalism down isn’t just about the schools’ image. It’s about keeping costs down, too.
And in another effort to reduce operational costs, the lighting in two gymnasiums has been changed.
“We are going away from the expensive metal halide lights to the T5 fluorescent lights.
Repstock said the quality of the light will be better, and the gym lights will now turn on instantly instead of requiring five minutes of warming up. Schools with the new lights are Harrison Hot Springs elementary, Boston Bar and Agassiz secondary school.
Agassiz secondary school also had new roofing installed, and further upgrades to their field. Many of the schools also received a fresh coat of paint, and fresh gymnasium floors.
Finally, the old public address system at Hope Secondary has been upgraded.
“It was just old,” Repstock said, and in needing of replacement.
Once school goes back in session, upgrades and improvements continue as needed, Repstock said.
“We do smaller projects during the school year, shelving, that kind of thing,” he said. “In addition to taking care of anything that’s been damaged.”
School is back in session on September 4 this year.