Plum school officials focus on district building improvements
By Karen Zapf
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Painting, paving, roof replairs and door and window replacements are on a list of about $15 million in building improvements planned over the next decade in the Plum School District.
The Plum School Board facilities committee last week reviewed a list of projects. About $9 million of the total could be spent over the next five years.
Michael Brewer, the district's director of administrative services, generated the list from information provided by various departments.
“The district has ignored facility repairs over the last several years and mixed capital and operating expenses,” said board President Andrew Drake. “Money was stripped out to balance the budgets in previous years.”
Earlier this year, the board approved a combination of borrowing and refinancing that is expected to glean $15 million for the district. The money is expected to be used for construction of the new Holiday Park Elementary School and facility improvements.
Also, the board placed $2.5 million from the district's reserves into a fund for capital improvements last year. Drake said the capital improvement fund contains about $25 million.
About $1.1 million of capital improvement money is earmarked for projects in the current school year including nearly $500,000 for technology upgrades, $350,000 for buying school buses and $62,500 for repairs at Center Elementary School.
About $2.5 million is estimated to be spent in 2014-15, according to the spreadsheet of projects.
The largest budgeted expense is $450,000 for an air conditioning system for Center Elementary School. The bulk of the remaining $2.5 million is scheduled to be spent on projects including roof restorations, stadium bleacher and fencing upgrades, door repairs and painting at Plum High School.
Also, a large portion of the money — about $700,000 — is planned to be spent on bus purchases as well as painting, paving, lighting and cameras and facility upgrades at the district's transportation department. Equipment upgrades including cameras and global positioning systems also are planned for the buses.
“All the buses need cameras and GPS,” said board member Sal Colella.
“We've got to catch up on these projects,” Drake said.
Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said Regency Park Elementary School also needs repairs.
The list of projects and associated costs also shows about $1.7 million planned for improvements to the Plum elementary school with the fewest students, about 250. Projects scheduled for the 2014-15 school year include replacing exterior doors, upgrading the lighting system, restrooms and lockers and replacing a hot water tank.
Large-ticket items including paving driveways and parking lots, upgrading the electrical systems, replacing windows, installing air conditioning and replacing the roof tentatively are scheduled for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.
Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said the board needs to decide about the future of the school before signing on to the larger improvements.
“All the systems (in the school) are at the end of their life,” Glasspool said.
Board members have said they plan in the next couple years to decide whether to close the school.
Glasspool emphasized the anticipated costs for the all the projects are estimates.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Elementary school program in Plum shows fun and math can be in same equation
- Plum EMS center bids to be submitted
- Hockey game scheduled in May to benefit Plum EMS
- Ex-Plum officer’s hearing set for April 23
- School attack next door hits Plum residents hard
- Winter weather causes overtime, salt supply to add up in Plum