School Board Discusses District Facility Needs
STEVENS POINT —The Stevens Point School Board recently reviewed progress on the District’s comprehensive, long-range facilities plan – a process that began in the Spring of 2017 when the District and Community members came together to create a five-year strategic plan for the SPAPSD. This plan defined a clear vision for the District – known as Moving Forward, Together – and included a key goal of responsibly managing finances, facilities, and operations.
The June 11 board meeting was spent reviewing recommendations for addressing the District’s operational, deferred maintenance and capital improvement needs that cannot be addressed with current funding levels. The immediate needs identified include maintaining educational expectations, resolving deferred maintenance problems, improving safety and security, updating learning spaces and establishing sufficient budgets for annual technology and maintenance needs.
“To provide learning opportunities for our students to gain the skills needed to be successful after they graduate, we have identified and prioritized needs that promote healthy, innovative and financially-stable learning environments,” stated Craig Gerlach, Superintendent of Schools.
Recommendations to the Board started with prioritizing deferred maintenance and renovation projects to present one recurring operational request to exceed the revenue limit for $9M. These dollars would be allocated as follows: $2M to sustain educational programs, $1M to fund a technology budget, $500,000 to create a maintenance budget and the remaining $5.5M used to finance two bonds and address deferred maintenance and facility projects.
Board president Meg Erler said about the projects, “There are basic infrastructure projects that have been deferred over time. These projects aren’t going away and need to be addressed. If we are able to address these projects, the funding needs moving forward don’t go away. We need to responsibly create adequate funding for the present, and the future, to address projects and needs on an ongoing and timely basis, not just for maintenance and learning spaces but adequate funding within our budget to address operational needs of the district.”
The School Board will meet again on June 25 to review additional data collected from Community Feedback Surveys, Community Focus Groups, and a School Climate Survey. Consideration to move forward with a November 2018 referendum will also be part of the discussion.