Pre-emptive work by D-11 Facilities means lower Westside bond-issue figure

       District 11 plans to spend about $900,000 less on Westside schools in the proposed buildings bond issue than originally announced last spring - $16.7 million instead of $17.6 million. But that doesn't mean Westside schools are being short-changed.
       According to Mike Maloney, director of facilities for School District 11, the difference is a result of the district tapping reserve funds for projects at four Westside schools that would have been in the bond issue but couldn't wait.
       The bond issue's proposed school-by-school spending amounts are shown in a brochure the district recently sent out to residents. The bond issue will be a ballot item in the Nov. 2 election.
       The bond-issue changes at the four Westside schools are as follows:
       Buena Vista - $550,600 (was $610,600). The original number had included a $60,000 line item for fire system repair. This cost has since been funded from reserves and the work will be performed next summer, Maloney said.
       Whittier - $458,500 (was $518,500). Same as Buena Vista.
       Holmes - $3,672,000 (was $4,252,000) - A total of $880,000 in roof repairs had been slated for the bond issue. Of this amount, $550,000 worth of work was accomplished this summer. Another $30,000 in plumbing repairs was also saved from the bond issue.
       Coronado - $4,207,500 (was $4,420,500) - The $580,000 difference between these numbers resulted from district reserves being used this summer to fund a tennis court replacement, auditorium lighting improvements and parking lot paving that would have been part of the bond issue.
       “It's always good news when you can fund projects that are so desperately needed,” Maloney said.
       Not just Westside schools benefitted from the use of reserve money expenditures this summer. Maloney said that in all, $1.6 million was shaved off the bond issue that way, district-wide.
       Ironically, the bond issue itself has increased in size from the originally announced $128.8 million to $131.7 million. This was not from adding projects, but because the Board of Education agreed to add in building-related requests from the district's charter schools. These requests are air conditioning for the Roosevelt and Emerson charters and a building of its own for CIVA, which has been leasing space for several years, Maloney said.
       “The plan addresses all of the district's capital needs for the next five years,” the brochure states. It lists expenditures under the categories of capital renewal (fixing existing buildings), capital improvements (improving facilities), utilization (increasing capacity by building new schools or additions) and program administration.
       In the bond issue, all schools are slated for some improvements. On the Westside, the biggest price tag is at Coronado and the lowest is at Howbert ($225,500).
       Among the major projects at Westside schools are air conditioning at Holmes, Jackson, Bristol, Washing-ton and Midland; new auditoriums at Coronado and Bijou; and upgraded heating and ventilation systems at Pike, Washington, Holmes, West and Coronado.
       In addition to specific projects, the bond issue stipulates that each school will receive a certain amount to be spent at the discretion of the school itself.

Westside Pioneer article