Auditor-General’s 2015 Report: How disrepair in Ontario’s public schools is assessed

We’ve copied and pasted the following section on how disrepair in Ontario’s public schools is assessed from page 13 of Chapter 3 of the  2015 Auditor-General’s report, since there is a lot of interesting information for people concerned with the state of disrepair in Ontario’s public schools:

“In 2011, to quantify the current backlog of renewal needs for all Ontario schools, the Ministry of Education hired a company specializing in asset management to conduct condition assessments on all schools five years and older. The assessments are being done over a five year period covering about 20% of the schools per year. The assessors visit each school and conduct a non-invasive inspection of all major building components and systems (for example, basement, foundation, and HVAC systems).

School portables, third-party leased facilities, equipment and furnishings, maintenance shops and additional administrative buildings are not assessed as part of this exercise. Currently, with 80% of the schools assessed, the Ministry is reporting a total renewal need of $14 billion, $1.7 billion deemed as critical and urgent (i.e., renewal work that should not be postponed due to risk of imminent failure).

An investment of about $1.4 billion per year based on an industry average of 2.5% of the $55 billion replacement value is estimated to be required to maintain the schools in a state of good repair. But actual annual funding in the last five years had been $150 million a year, increasing to $250 million in 2014/15 and $500 million in 2015/16.

The Ministry allocates this funding to school boards based on a percentage calculated by dividing the school boards’ individual needs by the total renewal need of $14 billion. Distributing the funding in proportion to individual school boards’ critical needs should be considered to at least ensure that the critical needs are met.

The assessments made during the first year of the condition assessment exercise are now five years old. Therefore, any further deterioration or repairs that might have been undertaken on those schools over this period have not been captured.”