Trustees approve capital improvement plan
LVN Editor Emeritus
Churchill County School District trustees approved a five-year capital improvement plan at its last meeting of April.
Maintenance director Ozzie Henke said April 24 he has been identifying projects that could be delayed for a year or more depending on available funding.
“We’re keeping up and identifying a lot of stuff you don’t see,” he said. “It’s internal infrastructure.”
In addition to the figures presented at the meeting, Phyllys Dowd, director of Business Services, said the capital plan has added $5,000. Expenditures for projects total $1,389,000 for fiscal year 2019-20.
The proposed projects include the following:
E.C. Best Elementary School: campus security camera systems, $75,000; carpet, $25,000; gym sound improvements, $28,000; and single point of entry, $150,000.
Numa Elementary School: bathroom, $18,000; solar panel repair, $20,000; and HVAC/heat pump replacement, $50,000.
Churchill County Middle School: additional security cameras, $25,000; booster pump repair, sprinklers and seed, $40,000; carpet, $25,000; fire panel upgrade, $20,000; gates, $6,000; HVAC control system upgrade, $60,000; single point of entry for main entrance, $100,000; playground turf and landscape, $50,000.
Churchill County High School: additional security cameras, $25,000; HVAC replacement for auditorium, $75,000; install screen and projector in auditorium, $30,000; library carpet and electrical improvements, $38,000; main gym audio upgrade and improvements, $54,000; and performing arts system upgrade, $5,000.
District-wide projects, maintenance and transportation costs total $365,000.
Board President Kathryn Whitaker reminded trustees of their minimum requirements for training. Trustees provided a short list of their training or their attendance at meetings. For example, first-year trustee Fred Buckmaster said he attending a session on teens and mental health.
“They’re facing many of the same things we are,” Buckmaster said of the discussion, which was attended by about 60 people.
Buckmaster said the discussion made an impact on him.
Matt Hyde, who has been involved with safety issues, attended a state safety class that stressed single-point entry. Both Carmen Schank and Tricia Dooley have taken classes to improve their understanding of certain issues and trends.
“The (classes) gave me reassurance of our district, our superintendent and the direction of our district,” Dooley said.
Trustees discussed guiding principles a process for priorities and revisions to both proposed and future budgets. Superintendent Summer Stephens said in the fall, the district should hold a workshop that deals with school budgeting and financing. Stephens provided trustees with a graph on formulating a budget process.
Hyde said he would also to see every employee have a job description and reviewed yearly. Mike Osborn, a representative from the American Federation of Teachers speaking on behalf of the classified employees, agreed with Hyde and said employees should also have input into the job description.
Trustees also discussed the proposed budget for 2019-20. Dowd said she has received information from nine other school districts where pupil rates are declining. According to Dowd, the state’s new superintendent of public instruction said a new funding formula will not be ready until the 2020-21 school year depending on the Legislature.
Dowd said the school district may need $210,000 in more funding cuts from the $2.5 million that has already been proposed. Buckmaster said staff rollups — payroll step increases — need to be addressed with the three district associations. Schank, though, said all employees should take a 9.7 percent cut in pay to save jobs.
Churchill County and several other districts faces a shortfall because the state overpaid certain school districts based on student enrollment. After several years, Dowd said the state caught its error, but to correct the overpayments, the state is proposing to cut the Distributive School Account by $294 per student or $984,000 in Churchill County, which amounts to a 4 percent reduction.
At the first school-board meeting in April, Dowd asked if repayment could be phased in over four years instead of once, but the district has not heard from the superintendent of public instruction if that plan is feasible.
“That would take care of the deficit and the amount we owe the state,” Pinder said.
Dowd responded. “That would take care of everything.”
Trustees also approved a request to apply for the Nevada Ready! Pre-Kindergarten Education Program Grant and the Zoom Program Grant and accepted a renewal proposal for coverages on medical, vision, dental and life.