SANGER — Deteriorating roofs, struggling air-conditioning and heating systems, aging school buses and out-of-date technology are among an estimated $2.5 million in capital improvement projects needed for the Sanger school system, according to Superintendent Kent Crutsinger.
And that doesn’t even include a new multi-purpose athletic facility and new middle school that are likely to be needed in the next few years, Crutsinger said.
The proposed expenditures were among a list of district maintenance needs presented to the school board by Crutsinger last month, with his top priorities being to replace the roof and HVAC system at Chisholm Trail Elementary, purchase three additional school buses and make technology infrastructure upgrades.
Sanger school trustees are planning to meet tonight to discuss the proposals and consider whether to authorize district administrators to go out for bids on some or all of the projects. The meeting is set to start at 6 p.m. in the Denton County Special Education Cooperative Building, 601 Elm St., in Sanger. Due to ongoing weather concerns, Sanger school board President Ken Scribner said he would decide at noon today whether to hold the meeting at 6 p.m. or reschedule it for the same time on Thursday.
Crutsinger said most of the projects could be funded with reserves, although the athletic facility and middle school could likely be considered for a bond election in the next few years.
According to documents provided by the district, it would cost an estimated $425,000 for a new roof and $634,600 for an HVAC system at Chisholm Trail Elementary. Both the roof and HVAC now at the school have been used since the school was built in 1987, Crutsinger said.
It’s become “increasingly more difficult to find parts” to support heat pump units for the HVAC, he said.
“We have to be creative sometimes to keep the units functional,” Crustinger said. “After 27 years of good use, it’s just time that we replace that. They’re still operational and functional. They’re just outdated.”
Crustinger said if the board gives authorization for the district to get a new HVAC system, he’s hopeful to see a savings in the district’s overall utility bill. He said he’s hopeful the district could get the projects underway at Chisholm Trail next summer and have them completed prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year.
Aging buses are another maintenance issue the district would have to tackle, Crutsinger said. Some buses in the fleet are more than 20 years old, he said.
Scribner, however, said trustees may wait to get the latest University Interscholastic League realignments for the district before deciding whether to purchase new buses. If the district has to travel farther to compete, officials will consider purchasing new buses, he said.
“Transportation is up in the air,” until at least February, Scribner said.
Sanger must also consider technology upgrades to provide Wi-Fi capability, Crutsinger said, specifically at Chisholm Trail and Butterfield elementary schools, Clear Creek Intermediate School and the Sixth Grade Center. He said this could be another project done over the summer if allocations are available.
Laptops have been distributed at the high school, electronic tablets have been given to eighth-graders and it’s anticipated that additional tablets will be distributed to seventh-graders later this month. Until the district handles technology infrastructure, however, “it kind of defeats the purpose for those devices to connect to the Internet” in district campuses, Crutsinger said.
It will be at the board’s discretion whether to pursue all or some of the maintenance needs that have been outlined by administrators.
“We’ve got to make sure that we can fund the projects and it’s in the best interest of the district,” Scribner said. “There’s a possibility that Monday night we’ll vote to … go forward with the bid process.”
The district would have to consider calling a bond election to fund a new middle school and athletic facility upgrades and additions, according to Crustinger. He said that while he’s not sure when a bond election could be called, he foresees the district’s current middle school reaching its functional capacity of 500 students within the next three years.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.
Sanger school needs
Here are the proposed projects and purchases at Sanger schools being considered by the school trustees at a meeting planned for tonight.
• Chisholm Trail Elementary: $1.17 million in work, including metal roofing, new HVAC systems, carpet and tile and replacing gym light.
• Clear Creek Intermediate School: $684,000 for HVAC work and carpet and tile.
• Sanger High School: $109,100 for striping of the parking lot, carpet and tile in the office and work on curbs and sinkholes.
• Sixth Grade Center: $195,500 to replace gym lights and HVAC in the gym, lobby locker rooms.
• Tenderfoot Child Development Center: $5,400 for turf at the playground and roofing.
• Maintenance equipment: $79,000 for a truck, two mowers, a top dresser and a tractor with a backhoe.
• Two-floor scrubber: $18,500
• Bus barn roadway: $41,800
• Administration offices: $31,500 for roofing, carpet and tile.
• Athletic facility needs, not including a multi-sports facility: $177,000 for sandblasting, sealing and painting the gym, installing auxiliary lighting, a pole vault pit, resurfacing of the tennis court, improvements to baseball and softball fields and fencing at the football stadium.
Source: Sanger Independent School District