Monday, October 26, 2015

BTA IV Project List

 Update:  here is a link to all the updated BTA IV documents.  There is now a line:

Capital and Technology Financing Obligations principal payments - $8.1M

Where did this money come from (did they add dollars or rearrange?)  They rearranged but I'm not sure what projects lost what.

Now I did ask if this is all just to pay off JSCEE.  The answer was...not sure.  I really would love a full accounting of all that has been paid into JSCEE, how much remains, when payments are due and when there is an end in sight.  This is patently ridiculous at this point.  While I realize there is virtually NO one at JSCEE who helped enact this nonsense, the fact of the matter is a lot of people there - both on the Board and in management - have kicked this can down the road for a very long time.

end of update

In advance of Wednesday's public comment meeting for BTA IV levy and the Operations levy, I have uploaded the handout from the community meetings labelled, "Seattle Schools BTA IV Proposed Project, September 30, 2015.  The district's calendar and the Board page have no links for this information.

I am hearing conflicting things about whether this includes money to go to pay off the bonds purchased in order to buy the JSCEE.  I don't see it included and I was told it would be added.

I will again state that BTA has NEVER been for building renovation.  It was always sold to voters as mostly maintenance levy with tech/athletics/academics.  (I have the old handouts.)  But with capacity issues, it has morphed into BEX Jr.  

I won't go over everything but some thoughts.
- once again, Ingraham is keeping its record of being on every single BEX and BTA since their inception.  I don't think piecemeal work is good for any building but especially not a high school.  I also note that Bagley seems to becoming the elementary school version of Ingraham as they have several projects on this list (not counting the addition being built under BEX IV).  By my count, there will be over $19M poured into Bagley.

- $3M for both planning and the election for BEX V?  Seems high to me.  And $11M for management and staffing? Also high and calls into question whether all projects need outside contractors.

-  $8.3M for "program placement" with no explanation.  And yes, I asked at a community meeting.

- Under "Capacity Projects," there's nearly $27M for Webster to be renovated and reopened.  Ballard folks, help me out - there's that much crunch.  I am a little appalled that they are (not) sinking this kind of money into Cedar Park.  Between the underwhelming lack of attention to CP's building AND gerrymandering out most of the low-income kids from Olympic Hills to CP, it almost looks like someone has a purpose in opening CP in the most difficult of conditions.

- Here's a surprise to me (and I must have missed it):  I didn't realize that the Robert Eagle Staff fields were to have exterior lighting.  And I thought Jane Addams already had exterior lights but there's near $2M for that purpose.


Anonymous said...

if staffing for bex runs in the many millions, maybe sps is putting jscee staff there, so that their administrative percent of the budget can stay "low"?

- not an analyst

Anonymous said...

I'm voting no on everything until SPS get their act together and the legislature does their part.

Holding out hope for this district is like falling in love with potential, it never ends well.

- ABC easy as 123

Anonymous said...

Almost $69M for Lincoln, which was supposedly a BEXIV project!?!

-reality check

Anonymous said...

Well yes, Ballard has experienced massive population growth in the last few years - thanks mostly to single family homes being torn down and replaced by 4 or 6 smaller units. Most of the "new" residents are young, so there will likely be a need for elementary capacity very soon, if there isn't now.

Interestingly, in the larger 80+ page document that came out in May 2015, staffing was at $22 million, so I guess they "saved" us some money there, eh? However, at no point in the document (nor any other that I can find) do they detail what this "staffing" costs refers to.



Anonymous said...

Jane Addams has lights only on one turf field, so maybe the $2M is for the other turf field and the grass fields in back?

Regardless, SPS has shown through its lack of transparency that it can't be trusted. The last thing we should be doing is rewarding bad behavior by voting in favor.


Anonymous said...

I am very confused by the urgency of opening the EC Hughes building. I watched portions of last week's school board meeting, and heard that apparently the plan is to relocate the Roxhill school to the Hughes building, and there are no plans at this time for the Roxhill building. SPS staff said that about 400 kids fit at Roxhill, whereas the EC Hughes building could fit 550 kids, and, after the EC Hughes building is renovated it will be in better condition than the Roxhill building, so the Roxhill students will have a better building.

It just doesn't add up to me. The Roxhill building isn't in great condition, but there are many worse in SPS.The 5-year projections for Roxhill show a maximum of 374 kids there between now and 2020, and dropping to 361 in 2019-20. Why do they need a 550-seat building for Roxhill? What do they plan to do with the empty Roxhill building?

Also, there was an item on last week's meeting agenda for the purchase of 9 portable classrooms at the EC Hughes site. Does the 550 seats for EC Hughes, as stated in the BTAIV proposed projects list include those 9 portables, or are the approx 225 seats in those portables in addition to 550 seats in the actual building?

So many little transparency.

-North-end Mom

Lynn said...

Moving Roxhill to Hughes is a really bad idea. K-5 STEM should be moved to Roxhill so that Boren (a middle school building) will be available for West Seattle's middle school students when the wave of increased enrollment hits 6th grade.

kellie said...

I agree with Lynn. There is absolutely no reason to move Roxhill. It is disruption for the sake of using the State level capital funds.

A much better, more-robust and long term plan would be build this as the location for K-8 Stem. Sooner or later, West Seattle will have the same problem as North Seattle and will need an additional middle school.

West Seattle has re-opened multiple elementary schools and expanded the capacity at multiple elementary schools. It is only a matter of time before all of those elementary students will need a middle school.

West Seattle need to add elementary capacity about three years after North Seattle needed to add elementary capacity. If the pattern holds, by 2017 middle school seats will get tight in West Seattle.