Educators OK $1 million for asbesos, power, AC, wi-fi

The school board approved its capital improvement plan  — a frequently updated, five-year list of prioritized repairs and upgrades to keep the district’s facilities up to snuff.

The stated goal for the plan is to keep the cost to roughly $1 to $1.2 million per year. Unlike the “operating” portion of the $80 million school budget, the capital projects are bonded and paid for over time. Items in the capital improvement plan are typically over $50,000 and expected to have a “useful life cycle” of five to 10 years.

The constantly evolving plan, which lists projects through 2017-18, totaling an $5.6 million worth of work over five years, includes $1,055,000 worth of work in the 2013-14 school year.

Like the rest of the school and town budgets, it ultimately has to be decided on by the voters.

The 2013-14 plan includes:

  • $125,000 for year one of a $350,000, three-year asbestos abatement at Scotland Elementary School;
  • $150,000 to re-engineer standby power systems at the high school, Scotts Ridge Middle School and Barlow Mountain Elementary;
  • $150,000 for the first year of a $350,000, two-year, district-wide upgrade to surveillance and security systems;
  • $75,000 for the first year of a $255,000, three-year roll-out of wireless networking at the elementary schools;
  • $85,000 to purchase and install 70 window air conditioner units at the elementary schools;
  • $205,000 to replace East Ridge Middle School auditorium seats;
  • $65,000 to replace house and stage lights at East Ridge;
  • $200,000 to improve energy efficiency of heating infrastructure at Barlow Mountain Elementary School and the high school as part of a five-year, $1.2 million host of energy efficiency improvements identified by consulting firm Johnson Controls.
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