There will be a special school board meeting this evening. Please feel free to review the Meeting Agenda (8-30).
School Board Meeting for 8-17 Agenda
Big Ticket Items:
Last night the Board considered several “big ticket” items.
1. My Superintendent’s Evaluation form was modified slightly to include a majority vote ranking system from 1-10. After several failed attempts to pass this resolution in previous Board meetings the Board voted 7-0 for this new evaluation form.
2. I recommended that the Board approve resolution 25.8-11 which involved approving the SELP loan application to the Oregon Department of Energy. Currently, the district has contracted with McKinstry Industries to do an energy audit of our entire campus. Part of the energy audit is to suggest energy upgrades that will pay for themselves through the energy savings they produce. McKinstry is an open book contracting firm that has been vetted by the Oregon Department of Energy which is why the district was able to use Senate Bill 1149 dollars to pay for their services. (These dollars are available from the state to be used exclusively for an energy audit or energy improvement projects.) When McKinstry finalizes their recommendations they will guarantee the energy savings they describe in their proposed project. Further, the project must fund itself with money we are currently spending on inefficient energy systems. The end result is an energy savings project that funds itself and is guaranteed to produce the energy savings that are called for in the design.
The SELP loan program, offered through the Oregon Department of Energy, is a program that provides low cost loans to school involved with energy savings projects. The SELP program has a limited number of dollars available to loan to schools. By applying for the loan, we are not taking out any loan, we are only determining if our energy savings project will qualify for these inexpensive funds. McKinstry can then build their project around these cheap funds rather than more expensive funds. The Oregon Department of Energy contacted the school district to make sure we passed this resolution in short order as the funds are limited and 7 other school districts around the state have already made application for these funds.
My recommendation to apply for these funds, not take out a loan, was approved by a board vote of 5-2.
3. Resolution 34.8-11, a Phase One Environmental Site Assessment of Springdale School, was tabled by a vote of 6-1 by the Board. The Board intends to discuss this topic, and other topics related to district facilities at the September 14th facilites work shop. A Phase One Environmental Assessment is largely a document review to look for possible environmental issues, such as oil contamination, asbestos removal, and others that could impact a construction project.
The board is quickly approaching a cross-roads with regard to Springdale School and QSCB funds that are currently allocated in Corbett School District’s name. QSCB funds are 0% interest funds available for schools to refurbish or build new structures. Corbett’s allocation of QSCB funds is $1,000,000 dollars and can only be used to refurbish Springdale School. If the district does not begin to use these funds by December 31st the district will forfeit their allocation of these funds. However, practically speaking the district must decide to use these funds or not by the end of October in order for the required paper work and processes to be completed in time to make the funds available to be used prior to the December 31st deadline.
As part of my report to the Board I provided a set of skeleton notes to the Board called a Rough Order of Magnitude Analysis of Springdale School. This is a work in progress. For a PDF copy of these notes click here.
In these notes I describe why we would want to refurbish Springdale, why we might not want to refurbish Springdale, and I spend considerable time detailing how Springdale could serve as a revenue source for the district. This would involve adding more students to our district. The decision to refurbish Springdale could be delayed for any number of months or even years. However, a delay past the end of October will make the cost of any project go up between 20-30% because we will have lost our allocation of 0% interest QSCB dollars.
I encourage anyone who is interested in the Springdale building to contact me with questions or ideas and to attend the September 14th Board workshop on facilities. The workshop will be held in the grade school cafeteria.
4. Twelve resolutions regarding personnel were approved unanimously by the Board. Most of the resolutions involved adding back staff that had been cut last year or adding additional staff. The primary driver of these additions has been an increase in general education in-district students in Corbett School as well as a dramatic increase in special education students in Corbett School.