Archive for Wednesday, June 4, 2008

District to draw on current funds for other projects

Starside, Clear Creek and Lexington Trails slated for $3.65 million in upgrades

June 4, 2008

Classroom expansions to Starside and Clear Creek elementary schools and a reconfiguration to Lexington Trails Middle School's entryway will be paid for out of capital outlay funds, the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education voted Monday.

The total cost will be about $3.65 million out of the fund that typically pays for facilities maintenance and also holds reserve funds for the district in case of an emergency. At the beginning of the 2007-08 school year, the district had about $8.2 million in the capital outlay fund.

Earlier this year, board members prioritized possible projects and specified if they wanted to pay for them out of capital outlay, the 2008 bond referendum, a future bond referendum or if they wanted to remove the projects from the list.

All of the board members had flagged Starside and Clear Creek as projects that could be paid for out of capital outlay. Starside's expansion will cost $2 million and Clear Creek's expansion will cost $1.5 million. Both expansions include four classroom additions.

The board Monday discussed other projects that could come out of capital outlay dollars, including a band room addition to Monticello Trails Middle School, a four-classroom expansion to Riverview Elementary School and two additional classrooms and a dining and activity space in the kindergarten wing at Starside.

Facilities director Denis Johnson said if all of the projects would have been approved, a mill levy increase would have been needed. The district's current levy for capital outlay funds is 4.5 mills. Johnson said the district had the authority to levy 8 mills and that the additional 3.5 mills would generate about $1.5 million per year, which would fund all projects flagged for capital outlay with a minimal impact on the capital outlay balance.

Board member Jim Thomas asked Superintendent Sharon Zoellner how much the administration recommended be left in the capital outlay budget for reserves, and she said it should be enough to cover a year's worth of costs. The estimated total expenditures for 2007-08 is $4.2 million.

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