The facilities steering committee for the School District of University City Thursday night recommended seeking a $19.4 million bond issue in April 2013.
The committee made its recommendation at a board workshop meeting. The committee, which met several times over the past few weeks, had three overall recommendations for the board. They are:
- The School District of University City place a $19.4 million, no tax rate increase bond issue on the April 2, 2013 ballot
- The projects to be covered by the bond issue are the Tier 1 projects (as shown below), followed by the Tier 2 projects; which administration and the Board of Education should select from the Tier 2 projects to complete the $19.4 million
- The Board of Education directs the administration to develop and the Board should adopt a long-range plan to address major projects and future bond issues.
The school district bonding capacity is 15 percent of the district's total assessed valuation, which is approximately $600 million. There is roughly $30 million in outstanding bonds, which gives the district the ability to bond the nearly $20 million without a tax increase.
Co-Chair David Harris presented the plan to the board. He said the steering committee worked in sub-groups to review the needs of the district and rank their priority.
The steering committee reviewed a list of facility needs proposed by district administration and whether the needs were a safety or ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) need or if they were a programmatic need. Program needs are ones where facilities are outdated or fail to meet the current curriculum needs of students.
The Tier 1 list agreed upon by the steering committee represents about 96 percent of the proposed bond issue. Harris said the school board and administration should review the Tier 2 projects and assess which should be covered under the proposed bond.
Tier 1 ProjectsLocation Project Total Cost Estimate Life Safety/ADA Program Need UCHS Library and classroom addition $8,675,000 X Fourth floor renovations $1,794,000 X X Gymnasium roof replacement - competition gym $1,020.000 X Gymnasium roof replacement - practice gyms $742,000 X
Gymnasium HVAC replacement - competition gym $588,000 X Gymnasium HVAC replacement - practice gym $280,000 X Athletic Department renovations $2,811,000 X Stadium ADA modifications $50,000 X Athletic practice field reconditioning $70,000 Natatorium upgrades (painting and pool deck lighting) $150,000 X Brittany Woods New elevator $252,000 X
Window replacement $781,000 X Replace all old lockers $151,000 X
Gym and locker room renovations (HVAC, sound system) $682,000 X Band room, choir room and art room renovation $112,000 X Flynn Park Replace windows $319,000 X Jackson Park Replace windows $285,000 X TOTAL $18,762,00
Tier 2 ProjectsLocation Project Total Cost Estimate Life Safety/ADA Program Need High School Auditorium upgrades (sound system, projector, carpet, lighting, etc.) $455,000 Stadium concrete and railing repairs $491,000 X Stadium flatworks repairs $39,000 X Stadium Drainage $235,000 X Brittany Woods Science classroom renovations $560,000 Renovate little theater $78,000 X Athletic field and track improvements $319,000 TOTAL $2,177,000
The steering committee was composed of volunteers from throughout the community. The members include David Harris, co-chair; Joycelyn Barnes, co-chair; Garry Aronberg; Ellen Bern; Hyla Bondareff; Keith Cole; Derrick Coley; James Cotter; Bob Elgin; Kevin Grawer; Robert Griffin, UCFT rep; Langston Jackson; Joy Lieberman; Billie Mayo; Victor Pichon; Linda Pritchard; Gene Ruth; Stephen Selipsky; Calla Smorodin; Jonathon Spetner; Cindy Thierry; Kathleen Watts; Mae Etta Weston; Radazaih Whittington, UCHS student; and Christy Willey, UCEA rep.
Staff members include Joylynn Pruitt, superintendent of schools; Scott Hafertepe, CFO; Karl Scheidt, executive director, operations; Shantana Stewart, interim director of communications; Michael Maclin, UCHS principal; and Patrick Oligschlaeger, director of athletics.
The April 2013 bond issue was presented as part of a larger plan to refurbish school facilities between now and 2020. More on the overall plan will be presented in a subsequent story on Patch.