The recommended package is the largest of three options passed along by the district's Capital Improvement Planning Committee, which developed a complete list of capital needs that totaled
The citizens committee and
Based on recent political polling, all three options garnered at least 60 percent support -- the target percentage needed for a good chance of voter approval. The five needs rated highest by voters were critical repairs and maintenance to meet codes, preventative maintenance to extend the life of buildings, removing asbestos, making the emergency communications system compatible with the system used by police, and remodeling schools to bring them up to date.
Messinger said he decided to recommend the same projects as the citizens committee because the group was so thorough in documenting and prioritizing the district's needs.
"If we really can find community support at that level, that seems like the right thing to do," he said.
School board members generally said they were thrilled with the polling results. But several wanted to continue talking about several projects, including air conditioning, while others wanted to consider adding more classroom space for future class-size reductions.
"You've heard a lot of optimism here today and a few questions to continue to think about," said school board President
The recommended package includes
Recommended projects include a new central kitchen, a new transportation center and improvements to classrooms to allow for education innovations. On the athletics side, middle-level track improvements, renovations to high school stadiums and more tennis courts also made the list.
More than half the money in the package would go to repairs and renovations, which the district can't afford to fund through its regular budget because of inadequate overall state funding. That category includes heating, ventilation and cooling system improvements; restroom renovations; roof repairs; and repairs to address code compliance issues.
For next steps, Messinger said, he would like to see the school board settle on a dollar amount by the end of June, with ballot language and a school-by-school breakdown of improvements provided to the board in August for a vote.
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