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Monday, November 17, 2008

BTA Levy Nominations Invited

The district is asking the community to make BTA Levy nominations by December 1st. (see below) My question is, what point is nominating a building for renovations if the district is about to close it due to building condition?

Does the overlapping schedule, logistics and cascading effects of assignment plan, closure and consolidation, and BTA Levy decisions make anyone else's head hurt?

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Community invited to nominate projects for next Capital Levy scheduled for public vote in February 2010

Community Input due by December 1, 2008 for BTA III, Buildings, Technology and Academics III

Seattle Public Schools invites staff, families and community members to provide input as the District plans for the next capital levy, tentatively scheduled for a public vote in February 2010.

Staff and community members are encouraged to nominate (suggest) projects for consideration as the capital program package is developed.

The nomination form, together with background materials and a presentation shared at a series of community meetings held in October, is available on the capital levy planning Web site.

The School Board at its October 15 meeting approved a contract with MENG Analysis for consulting services, which includes providing the District with a prioritized list of potential projects along with cost estimates.

Seattle Public School students are fortunate to have voter support for capital levies and bonds. Since 1995, the District has placed two levy or bond measures before voters on a three-year cycle. These include an operating levy (which provides approximately 25 percent of the District's operating budget) and a capital measure. The capital measures alternate between large capital projects (Building Excellence) that pay for major or complete school renovations, and Building, Technology, Academics (BTA) measures that pay for a wide range of smaller projects.

More than a third of the 100 buildings in the District's current inventory are over 50 years old.

BTA III 2010 Capital Levy Planning - suggestions due December 1, 2008
http://www.seattleschools.org/area/facilities/BTAIII/2010levy.htm

It's important to remember that BTA III will not increase your taxes since it simply replaces the expiring BTA II Levy.

Here is a very high level breakout of the BTA II Levy which expires in 2010 and a link to the website for more detail.

BTA II 2004 Capital Levy - $178 million

BUILDINGS - $95.5 million

I. Roofs $25 million
II. Exterior Renovations $24.6 million
III. ADA/Life Safety Improvements $8.2 million
IV. Mechanical Systems/HVAC/Air Quality $22.1 million
V. Interior Finishes/Floor Coverings $11.5 million
VI. Playgrounds $2.6 million
VII. Furniture $1.5 million

TECHNOLOGY - $42.75 million

I. Classroom Technology $22.18 million
II. Computer System Upgrades $13.32 million
III. Computer Network Upgrades $7.25 million

ACADEMICS - $39.75 million

I. Athletics Improvements $15.4 million
II. Literacy, Arts, and Science Facilities Upgrades $8.55 million
III. High School Improvements $11.5 million
IV. Other $4.3 million

BTA II 2004 Capital Levy - $178 million
http://www.seattleschools.org/area/facilities/CapitalLevies/BTAII/BTAII.xml

For comments and questions, please contact Paul Wozniak, Senior facilities Planner, at 206-252-0699 or pawozniak@seattleschools.org.

5 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Does the overlapping schedule, logistics and cascading effects of assignment plan, closure and consolidation, and BTA Levy decisions make anyone else's head hurt?"

Amen, Sister.

How is this a good idea? How can anyone, ANYONE, make sound decisions with a clear vision for the future with all this overlap and uncertainty? Both the assignment plan and certainly closure could have been started a year ago but weren't. Work on capacity issues could have started a year ago and didn't.

This is not to be negative; it's just so frustrating especially when you know that (a) the people involved making decisions are not dumb and (b) you know that some of those people knew full well that it would be too much for the general parent population to absorb (let alone know about) and be able to go with the plan they really want.

It's hard for me because I already have questions on what the money was spent on in BTA II. For example, money was allotted for a new roof, exterior work, air quality/mechanical, furniture AND a new science/greenhouse annex for Orca when they were still at Columbia. I was told, by Facilities staff, that the science/greenhouse is to be erected at their new location but no one can tell if it happened. Columbia is not a great building and I wonder if they did the work listed at all or did some of it. In the end, right now it's an interim building (New School is there now)and then it'll be a closed building with a new roof, etc.

Based on my research from BEX III, I don't have a whole lot of faith about what will happen with BTA III. What I know for sure is that there is so much maintenance that it will likely be higher than BTA II and there will be so many schools that need attention, it will be like triaging them.

Charlie Mas said...

I submitted a suggestion for a BTA project at the Horace Mann building even though there is a possibility that the District will decide that the building condition is so poor that it should be closed.

What would be the point of suggesting a BTA project at the Jane Addams building? Surely the new school that moves into the building will want to have some work done, but will they miss the opportunity because the BTA III money will all be allocated before they even exist?

The Summit community will surely want some BTA III money to fix up their new location, but how can they nominate the building when they don't even know which building it is or what sort of work it needs?

This feels very cart before the horse.

snaffles said...

I vote no.

I am tired of the Districts games, and Have not figured out how to send a message. So my only choice is NO.

I would like another answer, does anyone think there is one?

Jet City mom said...

It's important to remember that BTA III will not increase your taxes since it simply replaces the expiring BTA II Levy.

As someone who finds it more difficult to pay the taxes every year- I have a question.

Is the Levy amount a flat fee or a %?
Since our assessed value goes up every year ( while income remains stagnant), despite zero improvements and minimal upkeep , wouldn't the taxes in fact continue to increase as they have every year since we moved in?

The Kidde Woodward Family said...

The greenhouse/garden/science annex was built at Orca's new Whitworth site this year. The BEX money was also used to make some minor improvements to the interior of the building.

(I find it simultaneously appalling and hilarious that the Facilities department was unable to inform you of this. Hello? There is a brand new building standing there on the corner of 46th & Dawson, with students attending class inside it every day -- this is not something that should be the subject of vague rumor!)

Mikala Woodward, Orca K-8 Parent