As the 2017-18 school year comes to a close, we will have a short summer window to make necessary repairs and replacements on the New Albany-Plain Local School District campus in anticipation of the first day of school Aug. 16.
The school district will begin work at the end of this month and continue for the next five years to repair, replace and maintain such capital assets as safety and security equipment, roofs, heating and cooling systems, buses and technology infrastructure.
A 1.25-mill general permanent-improvements levy that was approved last November and will generate $1.17 million annually for five years, combined with general-revenue funds of $1.3 million annually, will fund these repairs.
By participating in a public, competitive procurement process, the district secured multiple bids from contractors for critical roof replacements.
This summer, nearly $1.5 million of shingle- and metal-roof replacements will begin at New Albany High School, at which some of the buildings are more than 25 years old. This work will require the closure of the high school staff parking lot and the entire quad adjacent to the main gate entry off Fodor Road for most of the summer recess.
Next summer, an additional $1.3 million of necessary roof replacements will begin on the remaining metal roofs at the high school and the shingle roofs at New Albany Primary School.
In addition, security cameras have been installed at New Albany Middle School and the high school, Eagle Stadium and the tennis courts.
This summer, security cameras will be upgraded at the New Albany Early Learning Center; other locations on campus will receive security-camera upgrades next summer. These security cameras and other door, lock and gate repairs, along with technology-infrastructure changes, will enhance the safety and security of students, staff members and visitors on our campus.
After many years of boom-and-bust finances, our current five-year forecast shows the district with an improved positive cash balance of approximately $8 million through fiscal 2022.
This encompasses the entirety of the five-year forecast period and fiscal 2022 would be nearly a decade since our last operating levy was approved. (Editor's note: Voters last approved an operating levy in 2012 with Issue 50, which included a 2.59-mill bond to build the facility now known as New Albany Intermediate School and a 4.24-mill permanent operating levy to generate $3.51 million.)
The school board, the treasurer and I will continue to ensure that our financial practices and decisions are justified and aligned to improve student outcomes based on our continuous-improvement plan with specific goals and progress measures.
We are committed to continuously improving and implementing cost-savings measures to save our taxpayers dollars, as documented in the board's annual financial-sustainability goal to reduce current-year budgets.
Such fiscal progress and sustainability reinforces that district leaders do not expect to return to taxpayers for an operating-levy request until 2021 or later.
Although much work remains to fulfill our commitment of being ranked in the top 5 percent of all public school districts in Ohio by 2021, New Albany-Plain Local continues to improve.
Michael Sawyers is superintendent of the New Albany-Plain Local School District.