Regularly Scheduled Board Meeting 10-19-2011 Update
The school board will hold its regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday at 7:00 in the grade school cafeteria. Before the board meeting I will hold the second Super Chat at 6:15. The Super Chat will focus on our Advanced Placement program at the high school. A copy of the agenda can be seen by clicking here.
People have asked me who the board members are and how to get in touch with board members. You can send an email to each board member by following this link School Board Connect Page. The Corbett School District board members are:
- 1.5 The board will hear a public complaint from Gary Purvine about the Springdale School. A copy of Mr. Purvine’s public complaint can be downloaded by clicking here.
- 1.7 The board will hear a report from McKinstry. McKinstry has been doing an energy analysis of the main campus and is drawing near to
recommending an energy savings project to the board. It looks like the project McKinstry will recommend will cost around $500,000. The project will come with a guarantee from McKinstry to save a specified amount of energy. At current energy rates the project will save enough money to pay the loan costs for the project and generate around $30,000 of additional savings. The numbers will likely be finalized by November and the board will then need to make a decision regarding taking out a SELP loan from the State. The board has not taken out a loan to this point. Obviously, if we can save $30,000 per year on energy after we pay the loan costs I will be recommending that we take out the loan and do the energy upgrades. The money we save can be used for anything.
- 1.8 The board will also hear from a grant writing firm known as PARC. I am very familiar with the work of PARC as I have known one of the owners for decades. PARC has a long track record of producing results for their clients. I will be recommending that, if the board decides to go forward with refurbishing the Springdale School they also should hire PARC to write a capital funding campaign.The cost of the capital funding work is low; less than twelve hundred dollars. PARC’s initial estimates are that if the Board has committed one million to the project it is reasonable to target $500,000 or more in grant funding. This is possible because the District will have a significant financial investment in the project; a community group (the SSCA) that has a long track record of supporting the school, and the building is now a historical structure. However, without a million dollar investment on the part of the district the odds of getting significant grants are greatly curtailed. This is why I will not recommend hiring PARC if the board does not approve the 0% interest QSCB loan.
- 1.9 Aaron Blake and Peter Fry will report to the board about their work around Springdale School. Aaron will provide an executive summary to the Board about the cost of the Springdale project verses its ability to generate revenue for the district.
- 3.1 Financial Report: District spending is tracking close to our budget. We are still early in the year so there is not much data. For a copy of the one page financial report, click here. For a copy of the four page financial report, click here.
- 11.1 Superintendents Report: The bulk of my report will focus on the Springdale School. We have been working with this project for more than a year and the board will need to decide if the district is going to take a 0% interest 1 million dollar QSCB loan from the state. A condensed history regarding Springdale School Follows:
- 8 Years ago, when I first started here members from the SSCA (Springdale School Community Association) had already begun working towards refurbishing the building.
- The SSCA has repaired the septic, fuel tanks, roofs, and many other items.
- The District has tried to sell the property.
- Selling the property is difficult because a half an acre under the property is “gifted” to the District with the caveat that the building has to be used for a school or a community center. If it is not used for this purpose the land returns to the owners.
- SSCA tried to buy the property but were unable to raise the capital required.
- They lacked a significant pot of money that could have helped them leverage grants to help purchase and then refurbish the property.
- The building has been in continuous use since the district stopped holding school in the building, until last December when Multnomah County demanded that the building be vacated because they maintained it had “no approved use”.
- About one year ago the District applied for and finally received an allocation of up to $1 million dollars to refurbish the Springdale School through a program known as the QSCB.
- The money will be loaned at 0% interest IF the district decides to take out the loan.
- The district must decide to take out the QSCB 0% interest loan with-in the next week. A 0% loan represents a savings of almost $300,000 in interest over the life of a 17 year loan.
- In other words if the district does not take out the QSCB loan, and then in a year decides to take out an interest bearing loan it will cost another $300,000 in interest.
- The district will have three years to spend the QSCB loan. IF it does not spend the money it can return it without a penalty.
- The district has done extensive work investigating the Springdale School. The district has worked hard to uncover all issues related to the Springdale School in an objective and clear manner. Experts in the various fields have provided key information to the district including:
- Class room size and school size: District Staff
- State Funding: District Staff
- District/school efficiencies: District Staff
- Loan Opportunities and Rules: Seattle Northwest
- Land Use: Peter Finley Fry
- Incentive and Funding Opportunities: McKinstry
- Energy Needs: McKinstry
- Architectural/Engineering Design: Group MacKenzie
- Grant Opportunities: PARC
- Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Estimates: McKinstry
- Environmental Abatement Testing and Estimates: Alpha Environmental
- Seismic, ADA accessibility, Construction: Bremick Construction
- Project Cost Overview and Assessment: Superintendent’s Task Force on Springdale Members Include Eric Kneeland, Eric Stevens, and Bob Buttke.
- Community Support: SSCA
- For more than a decade Corbett School District has been reducing programming.
- Springdale School represents an opportunity to expand programming for Corbett resident students.
- Corbett has been reducing programming because of funding shortfalls at the state level.
- Without additional revenues Corbett will continue down the path of reducing programing, and increasing class size.
- Increasing student population is the only way to generate more revenue and mitigate the funding shortfalls from the state.
- Next year’s state funding is expected to be less than this year.
- There is no way that taking out a QSCB can obligate any tax payers to pay taxes in Corbett.
- The only way that tax payers in Corbett can be taxed is if they vote to tax themselves.
- Fears that the district could obligate Corbett residents to pay taxes are unfounded.
- I will recommend to the board that we pursue a phased approach to opening the Springdale School.
- You can read a “vision” of what the Springdale School could be by clicking here.
- 7.2 Mark Wilson will talk to the board about 3 bids for an evaluation of the sewer project we will be doing at the east end of campus.
- 7.4 The board will decide if it is going to take out the 0% interest QSCB loan.
- 7.5 IF the board votes yes on 7.4 they will likely pass a resolution which lets us expend monies against the loan before we actually have the cash in hand.
- 7.6-7.9 Are also contingent upon a yes vote in 7.4. These items would start the process for hiring an architect/engineering firm, hiring an abatement contractor, and hiring PARC to begin a capital funding campaign (grant writing).
There will be many handouts at the board meeting. I will post those after the meeting.
Welcome the wind back……. it is probably here for a while!
There were plenty of handouts at the board meeting. I want to make them all available. A few of them have my scribbles on them!
I passed out the one page and 4 page financial reports. The one page report has a handwritten calculation on it that illustrates the shortfall the district would face if the Corbett Charter School was not part of Corbett School District. October 1 page and 4 page
Spencer Morgenthau from McKinstry talked to the board about the energy project on the main campus. The energy project will be designed to make campus more comfortable and breathable while saving the district money on utilities. Energy Upgrade Project Overview From McKinstry.
Also, McKinstry provided a graph of the energy savings and dollar savings over time. energy graph
Peter Fry and Aaron Blake have worked for the district examining the Springdale project for months. Peter Fry provided information for the board to look at as to where the half acre donation from the Jubitz family was located. You can see the Jubitz property on the hand out Peter provided. This half acre makes it very difficult to sell the Springdale property because it is under both the old portion and new portion of the building. Peter Fry Handout from October Board Meeting
Aaron Blake combined volumes of information from group Mackenzie, McKinstry, Alpha Environmental Services, and Bremik Construction to produce a tighter cost estimate for the Springdale project. Using the numbers generated by these other vendors Aaron Blake arrived at a cost of 1.7 Million for the entire project. In his estimate this was on the high side. His report is attached. Aaron Blake Springdale Report
I also asked a group of professionals in the construction industry to do a separate analysis of the Springdale project. These individuals, Eric Stevens, Eric Kneeland, and Bob Buttke have no vested interest in the project and will not be involved in any way with the project as contractors. They dedicated themselves to producing a document that reflected what they felt was a reasonable cost estimate for the project. They arrived at a figure of around 1.4 million, but separated it into three phases. Their considerable work is attached in two documents. page 1-3 from Eric Kneeland, Eric Stevens, and Bob Butke
The last page of the volunteers report can be seen here. phase three from Eric Kneeland, Eric Stevens, and Bob Butke
Phil Pearson handed the board information about our new phone system that alerts parents when their parents miss school for any reason via an automated phone message as well as the reason why the new web sited does not have live links to emails.autodial and website handout from Phil Pearson
I gave the board a handout from Mary MacPherson from Seattle Northwest detailing the timeline for taking out the QSCB loan as well as information about what the consequences were for not spending the money. The basic information is that if the board waited to apply for the interest free dollars they would not be able to take out the loan. Further, if the board does not spend the money their is no penalty. QSCB timing and use from Mary Macpherson
I also spoke to the board about investigating portables, yurts and recently green portables. I investigated the cost of portables and yurts several years ago, I also investigated the time line and associated hurdles we would face in placing these buildings on campus. Recently I ran across information about green portables which I shared with the board. The cost of these portables is more per square foot than the estimated cost of refurbishing Springdale School. The handouts I provided are attached. portable handouts october 2011
Last I will include approved minutes as well as minutes form September 21st that have not been approved yet. minutes from august 30th and sept 21st