Assessment process for school infrastructure projects made public

New Brunswick – The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development made public today the priority ranking list for school infrastructure projects for 2020-21.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy said making the list public promotes transparency in the decision-making process. Cardy said it allows the department of education to provide the provincial perspective around long-term capital planning while acknowledging the role of the various district education councils. He said the councils and department will collaborate to ensure student needs are met.

The Quadruple Bottom Line Multi-Criteria analysis process provides an unbiased, data-driven analysis which is used annually to evaluate major capital school infrastructure projects that have been requested by the school districts. These projects are over $1 million and include renovations to existing schools as well as new construction projects.

School districts evaluate their regional needs annually, based on factors such as demographics, age, or condition of existing infrastructure and submit a list of major capital project requests to the department.

The department uses the tool to assess and prioritize all submissions in order to create a provincial priority list of capital projects based on a high to low ranking. The evaluation process for all projects is undertaken by the same team of knowledgeable staff to ensure a consistent analysis of all projects.

The tool was initially developed in 2014 with the assistance of school districts and experts at Ernst & Young. It includes 15 indicators divided into four quadrants: economy, environment, social, and cultural.

In 2018, a tiering process which allows schools with significant space deficiencies to be prioritized was also developed and implemented.