Early on at tomorrow night's School Board meeting there will be a "Levies 2016 Update" that starts off with this ludicrous statement:
Safe, healthy, efficient, and well-maintained facilities provide a positive environment for our students, staff and community.
Words, just words.
Next year's maintenance budget sees more spending going to administration, not schools. There are just three extra grounds maintenance staff to help 18 regulars (filling in during vacations and doing the big grounds work. In the past the district has hired between a dozen and 40.)
Our buildings are - NOT - well-maintained.
The District may wish it so and may mean well but overall, our buildings are not well-maintained. There is NO maintenance going on save emergencies. Dr. Herndon has stated this on several occasions.
I take this opportunity to say shame on the senior leadership and the Board (including past Boards that have allowed this to go on and on).
One curiosity in this report? Nothing specific to Technology. There's for a good reason and I believe dollars are embedded here, just not called out. Look for that to change in the next round of projects. (The reason is that the District heard, repeatedly, at the public meetings that parents didn't want dollars to go for technology but real school fixes/upgrades.)
But going onto page 14 of this report, we find the BTA IV Project Funding Summary Sheet:
- EC Hughes Elementary - $21M (the district is getting $10M from the state for Hughes and Magnolia but I have no idea how that is to be divided and if this $21M includes any of those funds) +550 students
- Magnolia Elementary - $21.5M +400 students
- Magnolia Addition - almost $6M +150 student and a gym
- Webster Elementary (now serving as the Nordic Heritage Museum) - $24.5M +300 students (this one is almost breathtaking - almost $25M for a small school while so many other schools stuffed to the gills get no maintenance and have portables?)
- Mercer Middle - $76.5M+ 1,100 students, 0 added capacity OR Washington Middle - $79M 1100 students, 0 added capacity
- Ingraham classroom addition - $28M +500 student (Just want to say congrats and sorry to Ingraham all at once. Congrats because they continue their appearance on every single BEX and BTA the district has put forth and sorry because it has been piecemeal instead of a real renovation like Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield, West Seattle, etc.) And sorry again, to Rainier Beach High School - not on the list.
Then they want to buy property with $15M (no mention of where). Utterly ridiculous - BTA is about fixing issues, not buying property. The District continues to widen the scope of BTA and blur the line between what BEX does and what BTA does.
It's a vague list from the standpoint of not saying where these items will be fixed but that total is $253M.
BTA IV One-Off Projects
- Sound system for Boren K-8 (not sure what this is?)
- Sound system for South Shore Pre-k-8 - I call bullshit on this one. They have a nearly brand-new building and there is zero reason with $1M extra dollars per year coming from LEV into South Shore why they should get this.
- Freezer replacement at JSCEE
- Maintenance and grounds equipment - great, how about some workers to use it?
- food service equipment
- lunch room tables
- security equipment - cameras ($9M) (they misspelled "secuirty")
- BEX V levy planning/election costs - $3M
- web-based facilities archival record ($500K)
Major Preventative Maintenance - $18M (again, where this is going is not stated)
Staffing and Management - $22M (that the staffing and management is more than the major preventative maintenance should tell you something about the thinking going on down at JSCEE)
Loan repayment for borrowing $3,640,000 for World School additional costs (I swear the BAR had said $3M and this is over $3.5M)
They build in 21.65% for escalation.
Then there's 5% for project program contingency.
TOTAL - $660M.
Seriously? They are out of their minds.
I say this because the Mayor is coming for his Transportation levy in November at over $900M. (I call this endeavor the Lalapolooza Slush Fund because I do not believe for one minute all the projects that they say will be done are the ones that will be done.) Then there's Dow Constantine's somewhat modest $65M for birth-five services.
And then the District thinks they can justify a $660M BTA? Know how much the last one was? It was $270M. The District had projected a BTA IV of between $350-400M.
Yes, I know - this is their "wish list" and of course the final amount won't be anywhere near $660M. But see, if you put out some huge number and then back it down to say - $500M - why it looks downright generous to voters to pare back $160M.
I'll note that the first BTA in 1998 was $150M.
Then they went up to $178M (19%).
Then BTA III was $270M (52%).
I'm not even going to do the math here - it's late, I'm tired and this is off the charts ridiculous.