Cape School District taking next step in facilities plan, prioritizing projects

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Cape Girardeau School District is entering the final stretch of its plans to go to voters with a bond issue.

The facilities planning committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. today at the district administrative offices to start prioritizing projects for the plan.

"We've developed a wish list and there's lots of things on that wish list that aren't going to be on the scope," said Neil Glass, director of administrative services.

About six weeks ago, Glass started working with McCarthy Building Cos. to prioritize projects. Glass said the construction management firm has been going through the district's 10 buildings and is calculating cost estimates for construction and renovation projects.

"They're very much privy to what the market is out there," he said.

The firm will be paid 3.12 percent of the amount of the bond issue, Glass said. If a bond issue does not pass, the district will not have to pay for the firm's services leading up to the vote.

Glass has been working with the district steering committee since February to assess the needs of the district.

In September he presented a rough draft of the facilities plan to the group, which includes teachers, parents, school board members and administrators. The committee will recommend projects for the bond issue. It will also formulate an alternate list of projects that will be completed later as funds become available.

The plan outlines $35 million in projects, including an events complex and auditorium at the high school. It also includes additions to ease overcrowding at the high school and elementary schools.

Glass said the district has about $7 million in deferred maintenance. New boilers, HVAC systems and roof repairs will also be included in the plan.

"Included in this bond issue are lots of things that are addressed that would otherwise be taken out of our operating expenses," he said. He said the district could save 30 percent in utility costs by installing tools like occupancy sensors to control lights.

In the coming months, the school board will determine the scope of a no-tax-increase bond issue for the April election, he said. The board will analyze the plan during a special meeting in December. It will consider approving the bond issue during its Dec. 14 meeting or during a special meeting in January, Glass said.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

301 N. Clark Ave. Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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