Some residents questioned the scope of the project and whether certain parts, such as asbestos abatement, were critical. The known asbestos in the elementary school is contained but the tiling is nearly 60 years old and if the library carpet is replaced as planned, then the asbestos would be exposed and need to be removed.
“The scope of the project seems so huge,” Suzanne Guzy said. “You may look at them as being totally necessary, but I am not sure if they are all necessary.”
While admitting that some of the projects do not have to be linked, school officials said that it makes sense financially to tie them together. The state reimbursement rate for CCS is 71.8 percent under the Building Aid Ratio, according to Buildings Supervisor and District Treasurer Amy Kukenberger, but it would not apply if the projects were addressed individually.
Added advisor Benjamin Maslona of the firm Fiscal Advisors and Marketing, which advises local government agencies, “You might be able to put an individual project into a yearly budget, but you would not get subsidies. This way you limit the exposure to taxpayers.”
Wick Bennett, the CCS superintendent of buildings and grounds, said that some of the projects are dire, especially the repaving of driveways and parking lots.
“If you look at the numbers that is about half the money,” he said.
Bennett also said that he thinks the conversion to propane boilers and removal of an old oil tank is very important.
John Knudson, senior principal for Bearsch Compeau Knudson, said that his firm does get compensated based on the size of projects, or hours needed to design plans, however, BCK isn’t in charge of what a school board chooses to do with a project.
“They set the scope of the project,” he said. “We look at it and estimate the numbers, but we have no say about what they do or don’t choose. We’re just an advisor.”