School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker this week presented a preliminary look at the proposed Capital Improvement Project, which he describes as a work-in-progress, but one that will be finalized by March 30, when the school board is scheduled to vote on. If approved by the board, it would go to the public for a vote on May 18.
The Capital Improvement Project tentatively focuses on Jamestown High School, Persell Middle School, Fletcher Elementary School, Ring Elementary School, and the Tech Academy. It would also make improvements to the district Bus Garage along with District-wide IT updates.
There are three goals for the proposed Project: modernizing instructional spaces, improving safety and security, and maintaining our investment in our school buildings.
Whitaker said that although the total cost of the project would be an estimated $86 million, the district will see a state reimbursement rate of 98%, meaning the local coast would be about $1.7 million. But because voters approved a capital project reserve fund a few years ago, there is enough money in the fund to cover that local cost without the need to increase taxes.
“Our overall goal is to keep our kids warm, safe, and dry,” said Dr. Whitaker. “It is important for the public to note that we can only use capital project funds for capital projects, we cannot use it for instruction or operations. Like your home, we must do continued maintenance such as replacing roofs and updating heating and cooling, along with updating infrastructure including Wi-Fi, in order for our district to run smoothly and provide an exceptional learning environment for our students now, and into the future. Utilizing capital funds from the state allows us to do these things with no impact to local taxes.”
More details on the project will be finalized in the coming weeks, prior to the March 30 school board vote.