Ten years hence, TDSB schools continue to deteriorate

In October 2005, TDSB Staff wrote and presented “Schools for the Future: A 10 Year Facility Infrastructure Plan for the TDSB”, which painted a dire picture of the state of disrepair in TDSB schools and even suggested that schools may need to close due to disrepair.

Sections 2.2.1 & 2.2.2 of this report, “Current and Forecast Conditions of TDSB Facilities”, read as follows: “Putting off necessary renewal projects, year in and year out, has created a growing and costly backlog. There’s an increasing demand for facility maintenance and repairs as a result of deteriorating facility conditions. The numbers of calls for emergencies and unanticipated breakdowns are increasing. Requests for repairs account for 80% of work orders, while preventive maintenance now represents only 20% of work orders. The normal average wait time for maintenance requests is seven weeks. The Ministry of Education recognized the need for additional funding to correct deficiencies in building conditions. Increased funding for building renewal was distributed through a Ministry program called ‘Good Places to Learn.’ This renewal funding only temporarily halted the trend of deteriorating facility conditions. At the current level (2005) of renewal funding of $44 million annually, the condition of TDSB buildings will continue to decline rapidly, making it increasingly difficult to keep schools open.”

Almost ten years have passed since this report was prepared and TDSB schools continue to deteriorate. Although provincial funding for school repairs has increased since 2005 to $75-million/year for 2014/15 and will increase to $156-million in the 2015/16 school year, the money received by the TDSB to address the $3.3-billion of disrepair in its schools is still insufficient. To date, no TDSB schools have closed due to safety issues but one wonders what the next ten years will hold.