In response to a request from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Inserra to keep within a budget figure of $1.5 million, district architect Ralph Ottaiano reviewed the capital projects list he recently submitted to the board totaling $2.3 million and further prioritized the projects he identified.
The final list of capital projects proposed for the 1998/99 budget now reads as follows:
Daly- exterior brickwork ($40,685); completion of field renovation project; fencing, back flow meter and vault ($40,000) and construction of support services space and modification of a workroom on the second floor, and renovation of custodian's office into support service space ($25,080). Total-$105,765.
Manorhaven-Convert gym storage for support services ($11,945). Total-$11,945.
Sousa School-Install ventilation at second floor classrooms ($48,070); pre-k renovation; create two new half-size classrooms in west wing of Sousa and construct a band practice room on the stage at Sousa ($53,080). Total $101,150
Guggenheim- exterior brickwork ($4,295); replace existing roof over classrooms ($465,520); construction of a support services room, move nurse's office ($7,235). Total $477,050.
Weber-computer network wiring ($247,310); reconstruct retaining wall around Campus Drive ($114,400); reconstruct corridor between Weber and Flower Hill building ($47,060). Total-$408,770
Schreiber High School- completion of tennis court project-remove old courts with field renovation ($43,025); exterior brickwork reconstruction; ($61,895); replace roof over girls' locker room and auxiliary gym storage ($56,295); install accessible doors and guard rails at the H/C ramp ($20,950); replace floor tiles in English and TESL wing corridor ($53,450) ventilation from room 57 ($11,385).
Districtwide- security project- ($132,000). Total-$132,000.
Total proposed capital expenditures for '98 budget-$1,518,680.
Basically the board decided to postpone some of the roof work that was initially identified by Mr. Ottaiano.
Also postponed (temporarily) is the final decision regarding the portables for fall 1998 for Manorhaven. This is due in part to the fact that the anticipated enrollment figure hasn't been reached yet.
Missing from the proposed capital budget is the computer network wiring at Schreiber. It was explained that Schreiber currently has a functioning network, albeit one that needs upgrades, while Weber has none.
Also at the meeting the board requested estimates for a construction manager to oversee the additional work anticipated after the board completes its long-range facilities plan.
Board member Sandy Ehrlich stated that, based on her own observations made on the facilities tour and also from last year and the year before, $1.5 million is "not enough." She noted that keeping the amount at $1.5 million for a few years gives the district a figure to "live down to."
Board member Scheer commented, "We can't keep shoehorning the kids into the school."
Offering a partial explanation for holding the line on the capital expenditure portion of the budget, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Larry Blake reported that other areas of the budget had to be increased dramatically this year. He said that the district recently transferred $325,000 to cover unanticipated special education expenses for this year; moreover, an additional $1 million had to be added to the '98 budget for special education.
When asked if any additional tax revenues from the Morewood property would be available to offset some of the increased expenses this year, Mr. Blake replied that the property won't be back on the tax rolls till April 1999.