More than a billion euros would be necessary to upgrade the French Community’s school buildings and catch up on two decades of chronic under-investment, reported Le Soir on Monday, quoting an inventory conducted by Minister Frédéric Daerden who is responsible for the well-being of Wallonia-Brussels Education.
€110 million a year would be needed to keep the stock which the school buildings of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels constitute (routine maintenance, major maintenance and renovation).
But as of today, only €50 million is allocated to the post, meaning that there is an annual sub-investment of €60 million. Daerden believes that this has been going on for the last 20 years.
So, if we wanted to catch up now on two decades of chronic under-investment, it would cost roughly €1.2 billion.
Daerden says that in the current property stock, the vast majority of the buildings date from before 1965, and less than 16% were built after 1985.
After 25 years of under-investment, we are facing accelerated wear, not counting the growing demands for prevention and control due to higher standards. The Minister holds the axe: “without a strong reaction, there is the risk of closing more or less 40% of the stock within five to ten years. 40% represents 75,000 places, in the official network only.”