Security and technology upgrades will receive the first expenditures from the recently approved $ 28 million school bond for the Dallas School District.
Superintendent Andy Bellando outlined for the school board at its June 13 meeting to sell the administration’s plans between $ 12 million and $ 15 million over the first three years.
“Based on what we believe to be the priorities that were promised to the voters, based on a variety of factors, some of which are still unknown at this time, we are suggesting the priority projects for one to three years of construction of security vestibules. At all school sites, from my perspective, the sooner the better, the next summer would be ideal, “Bellando told the board.
The expenditure includes a $ 4 million Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching (OSCIM) grant from the state. Thus, Bellando explained, if the school district was to sell $ 14 million in bonds, they would have made a total of $ 18 million over that three-year period.
“We are obligated to use 85% of those bonds within the three-year period following the date of issue. By Aug. 2025, we are obligated to use three quarters of those. And obligated to expend 100% of state grant in the same time window, “Bellando said.
“Nothing has been finalized yet. These are identified priorities. The middle school and high school upgrades are priorities, but the construction of security vestibules and security and tech upgrades at all sites is really number one. So, every school will be experiencing something right away, “Bellando said.
The board needs to approve the plan by June 27 so the administration can sell the bonds in August, he added.
The initial security and technology upgrades will take place at all school sites, including keyless entries in addition to configuring new vestibules, security systems, upgraded fire and alarm systems, as well as camera and security technology.
Next, he will outline how the rest of the first batch of dollars will be directed to LaCreole Middle School and Dallas High School.
“We really, really believe the middle school has some priority upgrades that should be completed before the others. Those are the major ones to do with the concerns we have with plumbing, “Bellando said.
He explained that while the contractor was there anyway doing upgrades to plumbing, the administration could also make upgrades to the cafeteria, kitchen and stage, roofing, and partial HVAC upgrades. He said some units have a little life left in them, some don’t. Finally, the project will include the construction of a new gymnasium.
“As part of the middle school package, based on market conditions, based on what we’re hearing, based on the estimator, based on what we can afford, all of those projects would have considered priorities,” he said.
Also within the first three years there will be improvements to DHS to target plumbing and HVAC upgrades and to the Holden Auditorium.
Bellando outlined important dates:
– Aug. 9 meeting project manager, RFP published, few companies have indicated interest.
– Aug. 18 gen. obligation bond sales
– Aug. Sales closing on 25 closing documents.
– Sept. and Oct. Board approval of general contractor
Bellando expects the second sale of bonds to take place in 2025, where the administration will have a position to make a decision on what to target next.
In the meantime, the administration is busy forming a Citizen Oversight Committee responsible for keeping track of bond expenditures.
Bellando said he has had multiple emails out of folks who have indicated interest in being on committees, including business leaders, real estate agents, representatives from the city of Dallas and the PTC booster club.
“I think it would be great to have a student representative at the COC,” he added. “I think having a student voice on committee is powerful. I have a list of 12-15 people to get that committee on good diversity and diversity who will be committed short term and long term as we move forward with COC. “
He plans to have a full COC roster and written charge for the board members take action at their next meeting.
“Things are going to be moving 100 mph very, very soon,” said board president Michael Bollman. “All through the bond discussion, that was always at the forefront – safety and security. I ‘m grateful that’ s at the top of the list. That ‘s what we’ve promoted. “
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