Carson School District looking at $11.5 million in projects

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With its current bonding capacity and its capital projects fund, Carson City School District is looking at beginning construction on $11.5 million of building projects by the summer of 2017.

That’s what the district estimates it would cost just for mainly needed improvements in maintenance and infrastructure. The district also has a list of priorities, which is more of a wish list, for the next five to 10 years that also would include projects that deal with major expansions that total $50 million.

And that doesn’t include the projected need for another elementary school in the next several years. But the district also projects it should have the bonding capacity to fund another elementary school when the need arises.

All of this was presented at the district’s facilities master plan committee meeting held Thursday. The committee made up of district staff and community members is charged with presenting a five-year facilities plan through 2020 for the school board to approve.

The committee will meet at least one more time and will look to have something to the school board, which would include the $11.5 million in projects, for it to approve before the end of the school year.

Andrew Feuling, the district’s director of fiscal services, said the district now has a total of $12.5 million from its capital projects fund and bonds it has been able to roll over available.

District Operations Manager Mark Korinek presented a plan at the meeting to issue bonds for those projects in the spring, 2017, which could lead to construction beginning as soon as the summer of 2017.

The two major projects included would be additions at Fremont and Mark Twain elementary schools costing $3.8 million to $3.9 million at each school.

Other projects included would by $760,000 for Fritsch Elementary School, $900,000 for a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Center at Carson Middle School, $300,000 for pre-K and special education at Seeliger Elementary School, $500,000 for Bordewich-Bray Elementary School, $334,000 for other infrastructure needs at Carson Middle and Carson High schools and $1 million district-wide for maintenance and safety upgrades.

Feuling said he projects by 2020-2021, the district should have a bonding capacity of up to $22 million to $23 million rolled over to fund another elementary school.

Carson City Community Development Director Lee Plemel gave a presentation on approved and potential single family and multi-family unit projects to be built in the city that could impact the district.

The proposed Lompa Ranch development could have potentially 1,780 single family and multi-family units. Units could begin to be developed at Lompa Ranch as soon as the 2017-2018 school year, Plemel said.

But Plemel said it will take some time for the Lompa Ranch development to take place, noting the Silver Oak development approved in 2004 called for 1,200 units and that project is still 450 units short of that number.

The Lompa Ranch plan does call for a new elementary school to be placed in the development, but there’s no definitive plans.

Among the major projects listed in the district’s $50 million wish list is $13.7 million of additions at Carson High, with the bulk of that, $9.5 million going to a theater. The theater would include classes for performing arts and possibly culinary as well.

Another major project would be the construction of a $12.5 million STEAM Academic Center for grades 7-12.

While the district’s wish list actually costs $55 million, it projects savings of at least $5 million to reduce that figure to just below $50 million through an energy savings contract with Celtic Energy.

Celtic Energy President Chrish Halpin gave a presentation on how energy savings could be used to finance construction projects.

As far as funding from property taxes, Carson City Assessor Dave Dawley said not to expect much help from that area. He gave an estimate the district would only receive just less than $46,000 in new revenue from existing homes over the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.


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