Tue07292014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

School Board votes for $14,800,000 in capital requests

The King George School Board last week voted unanimously to forward a capital projects request to the county that contains 10 projects estimated at $14.9 million over the next five years. Four of the projects totaling $1.4 million are requested in the next fiscal year, 2014-15, which begins on July 1.

The action to approve the capital request took place at last week’s meeting on March 24.

According to the county’s proposed budget for next fiscal year, $531,000 is currently proposed to pay for cash-funding projects in 2014-15.

That means the School Board has little hope of getting all four projects they ranked as “Urgent” in the next fiscal year, since they will be competing with other requests expected to come from Fire & Rescue and other county departments.

COMPARISON STUDIES
During discussion of the CIP projects, Chairman Mike Rose mentioned ideas for two studies he has proposed.

One study would determine costs for a new track complex at the high school and compare it to refurbishing the track located at the middle school, along with adding restrooms, concessions and improved bleacher seating.  

Another study proposed by Rose would provide and compare costs for facility expansion to renovate and provide an addition to the former middle school building, or to provide an addition to the existing middle school. (See facility expansion project listed below.)

Rose suggested the studies could be paid for using some surplus funding that is anticipated to be left at the end of the school year.

BUDGET SURPLUS EXPECTED
The School Board is currently projecting a funding surplus at the end of this school year. The most recent finance report estimated a surplus of $138,000, with more to be added to that amount.
An expected additional state appropriation is to reflect a higher average daily membership (ADM) than the enrollment number used to predict funding.

The current year’s budget for 2013-14 is based on 4,100 students, with Superintendent Rob Benson saying he was expecting to end the year with an ADM of about 4,175 students.  Those student numbers and the corresponding additional state funding figure should be finalized this week.

OTHER PROJECT IDEAS
It was decided to hold off discussion of proposals for additional new projects such as a central storage facility, renovations to the School Board office and other large equipment purchases as suggested at the previous meeting on March 10. Those ideas are expected to be discussed during a future meeting, with Rose saying such a meeting could take place over the summer in preparation for devising the next CIP list for a successive submission to the county.

CIP PROCESS
The CIP requests package is anticipated to be distributed at next week’s meeting of the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission is expected to authorize a public hearing to take place at its May 13 meeting on the various projects requested, with those asking for projects to on hand to provide their rationales.  

SCHOOL BOARD PROPOSED PROJECTS LIST
The ten projects being requested by the School Board are listed below. The first three listings are for new projects, with the rest of the projects carried forward from the previous list.

HIGH SCHOOL TRACK COMPLEX - $500,000 requested in 2015-16 for a new track complex and bleachers at the high school, or alternatively, renovations to the existing track, along with concessions, restrooms and bleacher improvements.

FACILITY EXPANSION - $8,250,000 requested in 2016-17. The project would be either to renovate and provide an addition to the former middle school building, or to provide an addition to the existing middle school. The purpose would be to create space in one of the buildings to shift the 6th grades from the county’s three elementary schools.

MAINTENANCE VEHICLES - $55,000 requested for two maintenance vehicles in 2014-15. The two vehicles had been included within the ‘school bus replacement’ list, but Benson was asked to list them as a separate project.

This is the first time this request has appeared in the CIP, with all division cars and truck purchases previously bought from funds programmed into the School Board operating budget.

It remains to be seen whether this request meets the county’s threshold of $50,000 or more for individual items with the two vehicles bundled together.

MIDDLE SCHOOL ROOF REPAIRS – $572,475 requested, with $552,200 requested in 2014-15 and $20,275 in 2015-16. This newly-revamped roof repair project was the result of a recent revision from a roof consultant. It is much higher than last year’s repair estimated of $90,485, but less than $1,179,500 listed for roof replacement in early March.

The roof consultant is expected to attend the April 6 School Board meeting to review the 2012 study and the proposed solution currently reflected in the CIP.

SCHOOL BUS REPLACEMENT - $2,032,843 requested over five years, with $333,668 requested in 2014-15 for replacing four buses. Five buses are requested in each of the following four years, with $409,175 requested in 2015-16, and $430,000 in each of the following three years.

TECHNOLOGY NETWORK EQUIPMENT - $481,160 requested in 2014-15. The project would include replacement of all wide and local area network switches, except at the high school, and to upgrade the division’s firewall.

TECHNOLOGY FIBER EXPANSION – $800,000 requested in 2015-16. The project would provide fiber additions to Sealston Elementary and Potomac Elementary schools.

SCHOOL SECURITY SYSTEMS - $716,159 requested, with $125,000 requested in 2015-16 and $591,159 requested in 2016-17. The project would complete the installation of access control systems at Sealston Elementary and King George Elementary and it would install security camera systems at all schools except for high school, which has them.

HD PRESENTATION SYSTEMS - $1,171,275 requested in 2017-18. The project would replace existing equipment in each classroom with a wall-mounted, short-throw interactive presentation projector, with a set of 30 clickers, a document camera and amplification sound system.

DISTRICT WIDE MULTIMEDIA SYSTEM– $303,117 requested in 2018-19.

Phyllis Cook

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