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Capital Projects and Financing Update

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Over the last six months, Community Consolidated School District 59 (CCSD59) conducted a process to review the district’s Capital Improvements and Projects Plan. The review started in July and was completed by the CCSD59 Facilities Committee. This included recommendations from experts in HVAC, roofing, asphalt, and other construction areas as well as architects and the district’s maintenance department.

“The current state of CCD59’s facilities is a true testament of our maintenance department and custodial staff and the excellent job they have done over the years,” said Albert Tijerina, Director of Facilities and Operations. “Yet, as years pass, there is a natural degradation that occurs to all systems, which ultimately requires replacement. Staff and architects have identified our system replacement needs, which, once completed, assures that students and staff will continue to have the best learning and teaching environment.”

The Facilities Committee identified and prioritized the projects among the district’s 15 schools, and while renovations will eventually become necessary at all buildings, the projects of greatest need were indicated by the committee.

“The Facilities Committee worked hard to prioritize the projects and update the Capital Improvements and Projects Plan,” said CCSD59 Board of Education and Facilities Committee member, Randy Reid. “As part of our work, the committee came up with a three-year and six-year plan that includes replacing full and partial roofs at ten schools and HVAC systems in 13 schools. The committee also recommends renovations to create a more secure entrance at three buildings, even though they are currently state-compliant. We believe this is a crucial step toward providing safe and equitable schools while we prepare students for a successful future.”

Architects and contractors have estimated the identified projects to be $42.8 million, and the proposed three-year and six-year plan to complete the facilities work will be discussed at upcoming board meetings with the goal of future board action.

Based on the updated Capital Projects and Improvements Plan, the CCSD59 Finance Committee convened to discuss many financial options to fund the plan.

Vickie Nissen, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, shared, “The Finance Committee discussed operating cost reduction strategies, funding sources such as the utilization of the district’s fund balance, and the issuance of School Fire Prevention and Safety Bonds to offset the costs of the capital projects. Of all of the financial options discussed, the committee concluded that a combination of cost reductions, use of fund balance, and one of the proposed financing options would best meet the needs of the District.”

The Finance Committee discussed funding options and the committee’s recommendations with the CCSD59 Board of Education over the course of the fall. Three financing options that were shared with the board of education can be viewed here.

As part of the financial options the board of education is considering for funding the recommended projects, CCSD59 held a public hearing regarding the issuance of School Fire Prevention and Safety bonds not to exceed $39 million for funding of the capital projects on Monday, December 9, 2019.

At the January 13, 2020, board of education meeting, the board will continue to revisit and discuss the construction and finance options and the FY21 Capital Improvement projects to be completed.

For additional information and details about the CCSD59 Updated Capital Projects Plan, financing options, and process, click here.

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