How to spend about $9.9M?
How to spend about $9.9 million in federal government Covid relief funds was the topic at a special meeting Monday of the Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education.
Treasurer Ben Teeters said the school district has been told it will receive approximately $6.9 million in American Rescue Plan funds and just over $3 million in Esser funds. But he said those numbers could also be adjusted.
During the special meeting, a priority list of improvements totaling approximately $5.8 million was presented to the school board. That list includes the high school/high school HVAC system ($1,001,719), the elementary school HVAC system (nearly $1 million), other building HVAC needs ($350,000), rubber mulch in place of wood mulch for some playgrounds ($655,689), repair of an elementary school dome ($75,000), bus garage shed ($30,000), concrete floor and conversion of the FFA shed ($40,000), upgrades to the Cassner Building ($253,210), new restrooms ($533,456) and changing rooms and stands at the football/track complex ($1,500,000).
A “wish list” of other possible improvements to the high school football field and sports complex was presented. For the football field, the list includes: a stadium entrance and ticket office ($375,617), artificial turf on the football field ($1,002,647) and an additional parking space above the field ($300,000). For the high school sports complex, the list includes: a synthetic turf baseball field ($1,416,333), a synthetic turf softball field ($978,936), a synthetic turf soccer field ($1,036,607), and a field house ($6,000,000) .
Superintendent Tim Davis said the money should be spent by the end of 2023 and the district aims to begin some of the projects by May 2022.
He said improvements to the HVAC systems would improve circulation and air filtration.
Wood mulch is brought in for some of the playgrounds every year, Davis said, while rubber mulch in other areas lasts for several years and gives students more opportunities to use outside the playgrounds.
He said the dome on the elementary school roof over the library has been leaking for years. The goal is to remove skylights on the dome and then place a new dome on the building.
A shelter on the bus garage is said to house the district’s original Tomahawk food truck and a second “Juice Box” vehicle added this year for the summer feeding program.
A concrete floor in the FFA building would allow the district to offer students a forklift license, Davis said.
The Cassner Building on the former school grounds off West Main Street needs an upgrade, Davis said, as it currently has one toilet, one urinal and three showers for an entire football team. He said the building would basically be gutted and redone. He said that would cost about $250,000, while estimates for a new building were about $2 million.
Davis said students/athletes currently have no place to change at the track/football complex and must use public toilets, and that new locker rooms and toilets would also provide them with a safe place in case of bad weather.
He said the wish list items are still being discussed, and that a field house is “like a pie in the sky”, but that it would give students/athletes participating in outdoor sports a place to exercise when they can’t outside. to practise.
After Monday’s meeting, Davis said the school district would see where everything is, publish specifications, and then find a construction manager to help guide the district through the projects. He said all projects must be approved by the school board.
During the regular board meeting, Davis said the first three days of school were successful and all went well with the first full day of kindergarten next Wednesday.
Over the summer, Davis said, the food program served 52,098 meals, including a one-day high of 1,118 meals on the program’s last day.
“It’s just excellent what (food service director) Jessica (Walker) and her staff are doing,” Davis said.
The inspector noted that according to preliminary school report data, the district scored well last year and was above the state average in all 20 categories.
“Despite all the Covid and all the drama from last year, we came out on the other side with one of the best years we’ve ever had,” Davis said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.
Superintendent Tim Davis points to an area where improvements could be made to the Hillsboro City Schools athletic complex.