School board approves long-term building plan
Nothing lasts forever, and that includes buildings, parking lots and other facilities needed to educate children. With the exception of Bruin Point Elementary School, it has been a long time since the Carbon School District built a new school in the area.
Despite diligent maintenance and best efforts of the facilities staff, major and minor renovations must constantly take place to keep up with changing demands and aging buildings and structures.
The Carbon School Board has been reviewing the list of projects and trying to prioritize them to address both the most urgent and the long term needs against the ability of the district to pay for them. For several months the Board has been combing over a master plan along with Capital Facilities and they approved the final draft on Wednesday at the regular board meeting.
Before it was accepted , District Business Administrator Darin Lancaster, went over the specifics of the plan. One of the things stressed was that this plan is a framework for the future and details and changes will be dealt with as it evolves.
Under the current budget the district will move ahead with the Wellington Elementary parking lot expansion and complete phase II of the Mont Harmon Parking lot reconfiguration in 2012. For 2013, the District will deal with the foundation piers and add a functional computer lab at Castle Heights. The cooling system at Sally Mauro will also be upgraded.
The Carbon High baseball field and tennis courts are on the time line for 2014. But the tennis courts may not be an issue if the current agreement with Price City to use and assist with upgrades to the current courts work out.
By 2015 it is anticipated a new bond may be needed to deal with the aging Helper Junior High and significant improvements to Mont Harmon Junior High. The plan calls for that coinciding with the retirement of the 2002 bond debt that the District is currently paying off. Timing it then means that the chance of a tax increase to County residents is fairly slim. That bond would also allow for re-roofing the Castle Valley Center in 2016 and a roof on the "new" gym at Carbon High.
Staying with the strategy of not entering into any new bonds until older ones have been retired, the next time the district would look at a bond would be in 2023 when they would anticipate one for replacing Carbon High, remodeling Sally Mauro and possibly a new bus garage.
At this time the district is only paying on two bonds, 2002 and 2006. Lancaster made note that many unseen factors can affect this plan, including interest rate fluctuations and unforeseen crisis that have to be addressed for health or safety issues. The board felt that this plan was solid and gave them and the public a good framework to move forward with. It was approved unanimously.