489 USD aggressive in the use of down payment

By CRISTINA JANNEY
Hays Post

The $ 489 Hays superintendent told the school board Monday night that the district’s use of the capital spending dollars had been very smart.

“The message I want to send today is that our district has been very, very aggressive in making sure that our capital spending goes through our district for, for the most part, all of our buildings, and we take care of our needs, ”said Superintendent Ron Wilson.

He touched on the projects that have been accomplished over the past year and what officials would like to accomplish in the years to come during the meeting.

The district receives approximately $ 3.4 million in capital expenditure income each year. However, about $ 1.5 million a year goes to pay for leases and routine replacement costs for technology, catering and transportation, said Chris Hipp, assistant superintendent of business services.

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Hays USD 489 capital expenditure projects for 2020-21

The biggest project of the past year was the secure entrance to Wilson Elementary School. Work on the project is ongoing.

Wilson was the last school in the district to receive secure entry with the exception of Westside School.

In addition to making the school safer, the construction of the school includes new offices, a conference room and a staff bathroom.

The project costs $ 782,000, but the Foundation for Educational Excellence of $ 489 donated part of the funds.

A full overview of the capital budget is available on the district website.

Not everything will be done on the five-year list, Wilson said. The district does not have enough funds for this. The budget is a planning document.

The most significant project underway for this school year is the replacement of the HVAC system at Hays High School, which will cost approximately $ 4.5 million. This cost will be spread over two years. Offers are expected to be available to the board on this project at its next meeting on December 13.

The district also hopes to replace the Wilson Elementary School CVC at a cost of $ 2.25 million over two years. Because these projects will improve ventilation in schools, $ 2.8 million in federal COVID relief funds will be available to be used on these projects. Offers will be launched in February for the Wilson HVAC project.

In addition, windows will be replaced at Wilson, O’Loughlin, Westside and Rockwell at a total cost of $ 652,000. Federal COVID funds in the amount of $ 650,000 will be available for these projects.

District officials hope to complete several repairs to sports facilities this year, including resurfacing the HHS track ($ 100,000), replacing / repairing old HHS tennis courts ($ 400,000), resurfacing tennis courts newer ones ($ 100,000) and the repair of the Hays Middle School track ($ 150,000).

Wilson said the district only had four courts for 40 female high school tennis players. A comparable number of boys also participate in HHS tennis.

Westside would be the last school in the district to receive secure entry at a cost of $ 35,000. Federal COVID funds will also be available for this project.

When the district rolls out into 2023-24 and beyond, it will begin reviewing larger items, such as adding a high school culinary classroom ($ 850,000), expanding the cafeteria HMS ($ 850,000), Wilson’s renovation ($ 1.5 million). ), renovation of the 12th Street auditorium ($ 2.5 million).

The district doesn’t have the funds to complete all of these projects in one year, but they’re all on the priority list, Wilson said.

“This is just a graph to show you that our needs are weighing on our dollars,” Wilson said. “We just keep shifting everything to the right and pushing things on the road.”

Craig Pallister, vice chairman of the council, said the capital budget meets the needs, but does not meet the space needs of the district and that is why the district is considering a requirement.

Wilson said, “There’s no way we’ll have a big enough bond to cover all of this, so we’re going to have to keep chipping. I think a successful bond will help us move forward.”

Tammy Wellbrock, vice chair of the board, said if the district was able to process certain items on the capital expenditure list into a bond, it would free up funds in the budget to meet other facility needs. . That way more schools could be affected by a positive vote on bonds, she said.

Curt Vajnar, a newly appointed board member, asked Wilson if the district plans to educate the community on capital expenditure planning in its bond discussions.

Wilson said yes. The district plans to work together on the bond and capital expenditure budget.

The board did not approve anything Monday night. Each project will be individually approved by the board of directors.

Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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