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SACS maps out repairs budgets

$9 million requested for 2015 school fixes

Southwest Allen County Schools needs just over $9 million for building improvements and maintenance in 2015, board members were told Tuesday.

The board approved a capital projects budget of $9.2 million last year and has spent $7.4 million to date, according to Jim Coplen, business manager for the district.

Overall, the district will lose more than $2.1 million this year because of state property tax caps, resulting in a loss of over $1 million to the capital projects budget.

About $1.5 million is needed for utilities and insurance, Coplen said, adding that the harsh winter was noticeable in the high cost of utilities, especially gas.

“In the first six months of the year, we spent $85,000 more on utilities than the year before,” Coplen said.

No additional project expenses are expected at Aboite and Covington elementary schools in the coming school year, while Lafayette Meadows, Deer Ridge and Whispering Meadows elementary schools were expected to have minimal costs of under $30,000 each, mostly for painting, paving and mulching. Haverhill Elementary will need $295,000 for an energy savings plan, $16,000 for Learning Lab expenses and $10,000 for a new sound system.

Woodside Middle School will use about $35,000 for physical education equipment, paving and external lighting, and Summit Middle School will need $29,000 for student tables and chairs and $300,000 for roofing maintenance, Coplen said.

Homestead High School will need $785,300 for a variety of projects, including athletic, P.E. and science equipment, heating and cooling system upgrades and floor repairs. The largest portion – about $575,000 – will be spent on roofing, Coplen said.

Technical services and audio visual equipment will total over $1.6 million and the administration office is budgeting $76,000 for professional services, equipment repair and data collection.

About $1.7 million will go for districtwide maintenance, including roof repairs, lawn care and snow removal with the bulk – $1.4 million – going toward wages and benefits, he said.

Other capital projects in­clude computer mainte­nance and technology, $1.1 million; copier lease and maintenance, $156,500; in­structional equipment, $43,500; heating and cooling maintenance and repairs, $230,500; parking lot upkeep $147,000; and digitized controls, $37,000.

Other portions of next year's budget, including the general fund, will be presented later, Coplen said.