Parkland School District directors discussed an updated feasibility study that would require the district to borrow about $24 million to pay for building improvements needed for schools throughout the district.
USA Architects presented a detailed study Tuesday night during the board’s workshop. The biggest and most costly recommended renovations were for Kratzer Elementary School on Huckleberry Road, but the report identified updates and repairs for each district school.
Superintendent Richard Sniscak said the district’s financial team will report on the impact of borrowing $24 million at the board's Oct. 16 workshop meeting. Directors will then be tasked with prioritizing each recommendation.
The board will consider a tiered financing option that spans the next several years and allows the district to borrow at a fixed rate.
“If the district decides to borrow $24 million in the aforementioned tiered fashion, the increase in debt service will amount to approximately a .52 mill increase over the life of the borrowing period based on current interest rate estimates,” according to a prepared release distributed Tuesday night.
Kratzer’s laundry list of improvements added up to more than $5.2 million and, among other things, included repairs to or replacement of the school’s driveway, roof, windows, acoustical tiles, kitchen, electrical system, building code upgrades and asbestos abatement.
Even the district’s newest school, Jaindl Elementary, had $101,500 in recommended updates to the building access system/surveillance cameras, concrete repairs and an energy assessment.
When districts want reimbursement from the state for major construction projects, they must enter into a process called PlanCon. A feasibility study must be done and updated every five years in order to meet PlanCon requirements. Parkland’s last study was updated in 2007.
The feasibility study considers probable demographics, conditions of existing facilities, space needs for education programs and energy assessments. It then lays out a road map for the next five years.
Director Roberta Marcus said there has been discussion about whether or not reimbursements from the PlanCon process are worth it and asked USA Architects' principal, Paul Swartz, if he could estimate what the cost difference would be if the district chose a different route.
“We know the construction process would be elongated by another six to eight months and that might lead to construction cost increases,” Swartz said.
He said he hoped construction on all the projects can be finished by the end of 2014.