The 2017 bond included $8.1 million in funding for security upgrades, including access control, intrusion detection and surveillance cameras. However, based on cost estimates, district officials determined more money for the projects was needed, and the board approved spending an additional $10.6 million of bond interest and savings to pay for the upgrades.
Paul McLarty, the deputy superintendent of business and support services, said the district has underestimated project costs before because of inflation.
“This was simply where we could have done better, and we should have done better, but we didn’t,” he said.
Drymalla Construction Company will do the work in two phases, both of which have two parts: architectural and technology upgrades.
Phase 1 architectural upgrades are in progress, and Phase 1 technology updates, which include security upgrades at 13 of the district’s campuses, are set to be complete by March 2020. The work is expected to cost $5.3 million.
Phase 2 architectural work will cost $1.6 million and includes vestibule upgrades at the district’s five comprehensive high schools and door replacements at Creekside Intermediate School. The architectural upgrades are expected to be complete by August 2020.
The board in September will vote on another amendment to the guaranteed maximum price for the technology portion of Phase 2.
In other business
The district swore in new trustee Scott Bowen on May 20. He ran against former board member Ann Hammond in the May 4 election for at-large Position B.
The district also swore in incumbent Laura DuPont, who ran unopposed for Position 1. DuPont is the new board president, replacing former President Page Ranger.
The board voted 5-2 to approve a policy change to determine when GPA and class rankings are calculated and communicated to students. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, instead of students receiving this information at the end of each semester, freshmen and sophomores will not receive this information until after the second semester of school year.
District officials said receiving the school rankings early can cause undue stress to students. Others sometimes “game” the system to take easy classes to positively affect their GPA and ranking, trustee Chris Reed said.
Bowen and trustee Jennifer Broddle voted against the policy change.