School Board approves CIP

Published 10:20 pm Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Suffolk School Board has adopted its Capital Improvements Plan for fiscal years 2021 through 2030.

Director of Facilities and Planning Terry Napier outlined 11 projects totaling nearly $325 million, but he explained that even though it is a 10-year plan, it is funded only one year at a time.

Napier said the school division will be asking for a $1 million increase in the usual allotment for capital replacements — from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.

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The division is continuing with its proposal to spend $75,000 yearly on ongoing hazardous materials management.

Most of the other items on the CIP listing involve dealing with overcrowding or older school replacement or renovations. Those include a 20-classroom addition to Northern Shores Elementary, and replacement schools for John F. Kennedy, Forest Glen and John Yeates middle schools, replacing Kilby Shores Elementary School, adding a new downtown elementary school and, at the bottom of the approved list, a new northern high school.

Napier reminded the board of previous discussions about the 20-classroom addition to Northern Shores Elementary School. In the plan, there is $6.5 million for spending in both fiscal years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.

For the operations facility at Mount Zion, the CIP includes just under $4.1 million budgeted for fiscal year 2020-2021, and nearly $8.5 million for fiscal year 2021-2022.

At the College and Career Academy at Pruden, the school board’s CIP has $2.1 million for renovations to accommodate potential program changes.

New middle schools to replace John F. Kennedy, Forest Glen and John Yeates, which were all built in 1965, are midway through the board’s priority list of projects. Design work would begin in 2022-2023 for John F. Kennedy, in 2023-2024 and John Yeates for 2024-2025. Each would cost around $45 million to $48 million, according to estimates in the CIP.

Napier said the CIP is similar to the one the board adopted last year, with the exception that costs have increased by about 6 percent.