Budget estimate presented to California R-I school board

Fred Malicoat, representing Malicoat-Winslow Engineers, P.C., reported to the California R-I School Board budget estimates for bond issue projects being considered.

The report was given at the regular monthly board meeting Wednesday, March 20.

Emphasizing the figures given are only estimates, Malicoat listed projects which includes upgrades at the elementary and middle school facilities as well as some upgrades and some new facility additions at the high school.

Examples of elementary school projects include renovation of two restrooms, replacement of the boiler, lighting and window upgrades.

Examples of middle school work includes locker room renovation, lighting and window upgrades and HVAC for the gym, band, music and nurses rooms, six classrooms and concrete paving of the parking lot.

At the high school, in addition to upgrades in interior lighting, the budget includes additions to the ag building and weight room as well as a football concessions building, press box and bleachers, base ball field, softball field and lighting for the baseball, softball and football fields. Parking lot paving is also included in the estimates.

The estimate total for the projects tops $7 million, but it would not be likely to all be completed at the same time. If the school district waited until 2015, it could put to the voters a bond issue of about $6 million.

A special board meeting to discuss a possible bond issue is set for April 3 at 6 p.m., with an alternate date of April 10.

In other business, the board discussed the probability of a 12 percent increase in employee health insurance. It was reported to be partly because of "Obamacare" and was originally estimated at a 16 percent increase. The lower rate of increase is because the school is moving to a self-insured program.

The district capped the amount the school pays towards employee health insurance at $350 per month several years ago. The HMO cost is now $427 a month. After the increase, it will be $475 for the "Bronze Premium" rate.

The board plans to discuss increasing the cap amount at a future meeting.

The board was informed that the insurance premium will increase again in 2014 and in 2016.

Superintendent Dwight Sanders informed the board of the progress made by the Preschool Committee. The report indicated a $10,000 startup cost, 90 percent of which is state funded and 10 percent federal funding.

One of the kindergarten rooms in use this year will be vacant next year for the preschool program. The program is expected to start with 12 to 16 students, half of which are required to be I.E.P. (Individualized Education Program) students in the special education category. Sanders wants a 50-50 class to provide models for the I.E.P. students.

A "school intruder response" training session is set for Aug. 12 as part of the back-to-school in-service. Plans are to involve not only school staff but local law enforcement also.

Elementary Principal Daniel Williams reported 589 students enrolled. Middle School Principal Matt Abernathy reported 295 students enrolled and High School Principal Mike Hight reported an enrollment of 391.

Williams reported a good turnout at the kindergarten information night March 5, with essential information presented on what is needed to enroll the students. On March 12, about 80 kindergarteners were enrolled. The total enrollment is expected to be 95 to 104, meaning a reduction to five classes from the current six.

The middle school choir groups performed the musical "Fiddler on the Roof," according to Abernathy.

Hight reported CHS award winners at the University of Central Missouri Art Contest are Morgan Henley, Alex Davis and Micah Trower. Their work will be displayed on campus in the spring.

A tornado drill was held March 8 which used the "best practice" of not using hallways for shelter.

The next board meeting is Tuesday, April 16, at 6 p.m.

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