Schools CIP up $7.7 million from last year

The School Board got a first look last week at the proposed $145.6 million Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal 2012-2016.

The cost of the CIP is up slightly from the plan approved last year for fiscal 2011-2015, which carried a price tag of $137.9 million. David Myers, assistant superintendent for business and finance, stressed that last week’s presentation of the draft was just the “kickoff.”

“So, we will have many opportunities to discuss what’s in this plan,” he said, including a public hearing on Dec. 14.
Last year, the fiscal 2010-2015 CIP was reduced by more than $100 million, Myers said. No new schools are included in the proposed fiscal 2012-2016 CIP, he said, though projects are included that will add 1,170 elementary school and 200 middle school seats. Some capital needs will go unmet, he said.

Roughly $65 million, or 44 percent of the capital funds, would be used for renovations and additions. About 30 percent, or $43.2 million, is designated for major maintenance and HVAC work, he said, while $27.7 million will go to technology. About 5 percent, or $7.2 million, is designated for future land purchases, and 2 percent, about $2.5 million, will fund energy and security projects.

Only three projects are scheduled to begin in July 2011, including one at Gates Elementary School. The $4 million project, which was funded by the 2004 bond referendum, will add 150 seats at the school, which is now at 100 percent of its capacity, according to Myers’ presentation. The school’s front office will also be relocated to enhance school security.

A $13.75 million project at Midlothian Middle School, also funded by the 2004 bond referendum, is set to begin in July 2011, as is the replacement of the HVAC system at the old Clover Hill High School. The $9 million project will be funded with prior year project savings.
“This is probably a very good time to say this is a tremendously important decision for the School Board,” Myers said. Next month, the panel will get a presentation on using the old Clover Hill High School as the 21st Century Academy, he said.

Myers noted that there is no new funding planned for the three projects, which were funded in previous years.

The remaining two 2004 bond referendum projects, a $5.75 million project at Watkins Elementary School and a $13 million project at Midlothian High School, are set to begin in July 2012. Projects starting in 2013 and beyond include renovations and/or additions at Harrowgate Elementary, Enon Elementary, Matoaca Elementary and Monacan High schools.

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