From the Work Session:
- I need to get clarification on this but they referenced a "ghost law" (just in time for Halloween). It seems that there is some I-728 money that could accelerate levy collection. I am unclear on how I-728 money (which I believe is for operations) could be part of capital funds.
- They went through, building by building, the rationale for reopening each and each time Tracy said we are going to need the capacity.
- Board members seemed to have some unease with reopening McDonald which had the weakest case for the capacity issue and the biggest price tag. Michael said it might be an opportunity to consider opening McDonald as an option school to draw off attendance area kids from other schools that are full.
- Sherry did mention that phrase "surge capacity" which I do need to ask her about. I think it either portables or keeping a building extra-full for a couple of years when the data suggests a blip in enrollment.
- Tracy said that the term "option" school means, for right now, a non-attendance area school for the assignment plan. (However, at the morning Mercer meeting, she wouldn't call schools "alternative" and used "option" when referring to them.)
- Mary asked about sustaining reopened buildings. And she's right? We're $500M backlogged and maintenance so sure, let's add 5 more poor condition buildings to the mix.
- Tracy noted that transportation changes may be a wild card in people's choices.
- Michael asked about a library at Sand Point and Tracy mentioned something about getting bookcases. Hmmm.
- Sherry was very firm that the money for Viewlands needs to be lessened based on what we get back from the insurance due to the vandalism. Apparently the district has a $100,000 deductible to pay first and then the insurance company will pay for the repair. Kathy Johnson said the damage was about $250,000 so the district will get $150,000 paid for by the insurance company.
- Michael asked about the useful life of the buildings AFTER the renovations. Kathy said they were all older buildings and the mechanical systems are 30-50 years old so they have a shorter life expectancy. Michael said they needed to clearly show voters what they are getting for their money. Okay, we're getting 5 older buildings in poor condition with some guts fixed, new furniture and some cosmetic stuff. That's what you get for $50M.
- A big issue in the levy, which I would like comments and opinions about, is spending more money for several buildings that need roof/heating and doing it with energy efficiency in mind. More on this below.
- They also released a revised listing for the district's official status for buildings. For example, all the closed buildings from last year are now termed "inventoried". John Marshall is now "rental" for 5-7 years. Fairmont Park is "rental" for 3-5 years. Michael expressed concern over leaving any building empty because of the dangers from doing so.
- I am a little confused because they want to rename Old Hay to distinguish it from Hay. They want to use the Sharples name but I thought that was the name of Aki Kurose's building. (The district may rename a building to reflect a school name but the old name generally stays around. ) They are looking for a place to use the MLK, Jr. name.
- I realized that the November 4th Board meeting is an important one as staff will introduce both the SAP boundaries AND the BTA levy.
- As the Board was discussing a figure for the BTA, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson reminded them that they still need to fund the Skills Center.
- Sherry said that she wanted charts to show voters what the levy means to them in taxes and/or other visuals. Harium has said this in the past and I have to wonder why they don't just get a "sure, we can do that" answer.
- It seems the Board wants to pull back from the new "high" BTA figure of $280M to about $250-270M. Staff seems glum at this prospect.
Energy efficiency. The staff is really high on this. They have identified 6 schools (John Hay, West Woodland, Adams, Olympic View, Muir and Leschi) that:
- need new roofs/heating
- not eligible for BEX IV or V
- and are suitable for green technology available to modernize and retrofit existing systems
The total would be spending almost $10M for regular replacement versus almost $18M for energy efficient. There seems to be more soft costs coming to do the energy efficient repairs but there would also be a cost savings in janitorial work (maintaining a boiler). The Board seemed to think doing 3 regular and 3 energy efficient seems the most doable. They are balking at doing all of them. My thought was to do all the roofs at the energy efficient cost and only 2 schools with the energy efficient heating. The Board seems to want to have the public face of doing better on this front but money is always the issue. You could pay for many other things if you don't do the energy efficient repairs and just do conventional.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?