School board considers building upgrades with contingency money

Published 10:44 am Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Clark County Board of Education is eyeing some upgrades to a few of its buildings as it looks to spend some of the money in its growing contingency fund.

The school board approved a $64 million working budget in September which included a $14 million contingency fund. However, since the requirement for school boards is to maintain a contingency of 10 percent — which CCPS’ budget exceeds — the board is looking at putting the extra money toward its facilities.

Superintendent Paul Christy and Operations Director Donald Stump presented the board with a proposal Wednesday night during a work session for work to be done on several buildings in the district.

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“This all came about in the discussions at the (September) board meeting about the possibility of using some of our contingency to bring some of our existing buildings closer to the level of the high school,” Christy said.

Priority projects included addressing heating and air conditioning problems at Baker Intermediate and Strode Station Elementary. According to Stump, the boilers at the school are in bad condition and need to be replaced. At Strode Station, the district is having problems controlling the humidity within the building, which administrators are concerned could lead to dangers with mildew or mold if left unattended for too long.

Discussion during the work session focussed mainly on whether or not the board would replace the existing equipment with similar models, install a new HVAC system or opt for a more expensive — but more energy efficient — geothermal system.

Because the meeting was a special-called work session, no vote was taken on the matter Wednesday night. The board members present, Todd Wilson, Gordon Parido and Ashley Ritchie, requested more information about each of the options be made available at a future meeting before a decision is made.

Other parts of the proposed project involving Baker, Strode, Shearer Elementary and Campbell Junior High include:

— control systems upgrades

— retrofitting interior and exterior lighting

— retrofitting water conservation systems

— installing vending machine occupancy controls for all buildings in the district

— sealing the envelopes on buildings and caulking

— installing photovoltaic panels on Shearer Elementary to improve energy efficiency.