The Board is having a meeting on Wednesday night. The agenda is always posted on-line and always makes for interesting reading especially when it comes to Facilities. This one is no exception.
First, there's added costs ($360,000) for New School (with Facilities claiming they had no idea it would need to be bigger because it is to be a preK-8, not a K-8. This was known for a long time so I don't know where they get this.) Then there's the timeline - New School is to be finished by August 2009. That is a very quick timeline for project that has just started. I suspect this will be only the first of several requests for more money for this project. I can't see how you can get building like this done that quickly.
Then there's Denny/Sealth. It looks like Facilities is going with Option 2 which basically means they cough up $10M more to go to Sealth so they can appease that community. The wording here is:
"The February 6, 2007 Schools’ Capital Project Levy provided for the co-location of a new Denny Middle School on the Chief Sealth High School campus. The co-location of the Denny Middle School to the Chief Sealth High School campus site has many financial benefits for both schools beyond that of separate campuses.
The co-location makes available a bonus of levy funds for the renovation efforts to Chief Sealth High School that will significantly enhance the school’s environment and extend its functional life and enhance higher academic achievement through the upgrades of life safety elements, technology, environmental conditions and aesthetics."
No, the Capital project "Levy" (it was a bond measure), DIDN'T provide for the co-location because that was NOT what the voter's guide said. Facilities wants to perpetuate this big lie over and over.
Financial benefits? Interesting because not one word of that issue was in the recent Denny/Sealth presentation last week at Sealth. The financial savings could only be minimal. Both schools will have gyms and Sealth will eventually get its own renovation. They are altering or destroying previous BEX II work that they now have to rebuild. What savings?
Also there's the line "co-location makes available a bonus of levy funds". Huh? What bonus of funds?
And where will this extra $10M come from?
Capital: $10 million transfer in support of Option II.
• $1.5 million from Debt Service Fund
• $3.5 million from BEX III Technology
• $5 million from BEX III Infrastructure
The Debt Service fund is to pay off the huge debt we have on the Stanford Building. It shouldn't be diverted. $3.5 M from BEX III technology would come out of the $42M allotted in the bond measure for technology. Somebody loses here. And, taking $5M from the infrastructure part of the fund (which I'm not sure which part of the BEX III this is - they don't like to give complete breakdowns of the funds) but it can't be good. I can certainly hope that no projects go overbudget or they find major issues like at Garfield.
[Update: I found the Infrastructure fund. That would be the $26M fund allotted in BEX III for those pesky things like water pipes, indoor air quality and athletic fields (and fields got $6M so I'm guessing someone isn't getting their field).]
Oh, and speaking of Garfield, here's another one on the agenda:
"I move that $2,797,500 be transferred from the BEX II Ending Fund Balance to the Garfield High School project to cover construction contract Modification No. 8 to Lease Crutcher Lewis."
Another $3M for Garfield? Well, let's see, that project already took the ENTIRE $14M for Secondary BOC for cost overrruns and yet, here we go again. There are, of course, a myriad of reasons (or excuses) why this is. Well, I guess we're in the big times now because we have our first official $100M+ building.