Gilbert Public Schools prepares for more than $10 million of summer capital projects

Gilbert Public Schools
Two-thirds of the schools in Gilbert Public Schools could have capital projects going on this summer. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Two-thirds of the schools in Gilbert Public Schools could have capital projects going on this summer. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gilbert Public Schools could have more than $10.07 million in capital and bonds projects this summer that will touch two-thirds of the schools in the district, officials said.

The figure came from a presentation April 28 to the governing board by Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bonnie Betz and Operations Director Albert Dutchover. A few projects were approved during the consent agenda, but most are still in the bidding process with vendors and will go before the board for approval at a later date.

The district will mostly pay for the projects with $8,895,003 from bonds approved by voters in November 2015, Betz said. The remainder will come from other revenue lines.

Dutchover divides the projects into two kinds: mechanical and structural.

The mechanical projects will be lighting, electrical or heating, ventilation and air conditioning projects at nine schools and the district office and will cost nearly $2.35 million.

The structural projects will include athletic venues, classrooms, flooring, paint, parking lots, performing arts venues, portables, roofing, restrooms and school offices.

Those projects touch 15 of 27 elementary schools and 11 of 12 secondary schools in the district at a cost of nearly $7.73 million.

In the future, Betz said she will recommend the sale of $40 million worth of bonds from the 2015 and 2019 approvals to close in August or September 2020.

Betz noted favorable conditions at this time, including historically low interest rate and an expected lowering of the tax rate despite new debt service, partly from assessed values of properties in the district increasing by 6.5%.

In other board actions:

  • The board appointed Dr. Renea Kennedy, the director of teaching and learning at Mesa Public Schools, to be director of curriculum for GPS starting next school year. Kennedy was a teacher in GPS from 2001-14.

  • The board approved modifying the evaluation instrument for teachers who had not been fully evaluated before the district was forced into remote learning by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The board approved supplementary science kits from McGraw Hill that will help the district in providing kits that will align with the state’s newly adopted K-6 science standards.

  • The board added the grade level “ungraded elementary” at the final five elementary schools in the district that did not have that level. Adding the UE grade will allow GPS to receive full average daily membership funding for kindergarten special education students, Superintendent Dr. Shane McCord said.

By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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