The building upkeep for a school district is an ever-changing process and Jud Wolfe is the administrator that keeps track of facility needs for the Plainfield Community School Corporation.
Wolfe is the assistant superintendent of finance and operations for PCSC. To keep on top of the job, he is constantly updating an inventory of what needs to be fixed, updated, and renovated for the district.
This week he briefed the school board on a laundry list of impending projects that will need attention over the next several years and the most necessary items that will need to be done during the summer in 2013.
“My goal is to keep track of the future work,” Wolfe said. “We do have some mechanical systems that are getting some age on them. I’ve given you information on each building.”
Wolfe outlined projects such as the 1992 roof membrane at Brentwood Elementary School to drainage issues near the parking lot at Central Elementary School. Each building had several items on the list of needs with the exceptions of Van Buren Elementary School and Plainfield High School. Both of those schools are in “pretty good shape” but do have a few items that will need to be updated in the next five years, Wolfe said.
The state has mandated that each school corporation create and maintain a developmental preschool for students with disabilities. Mary Giesting, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, explained the mandate to school board members.
“By 2014, the developmental preschool will need to be a 50/50 split of developmentally delayed students and general education students,” she said.
This would be the first phase of the preschool project. The preschool would accommodate 40 students. The state would provide funds for the developmentally delayed students and the general education students would pay a fee for the preschool service.
“We’re hoping the second phase of the project would include a community preschool that will accommodate 40 more students,” Giesting said.
She said the community preschool would be self sustaining with tuition.
The new preschool would be housed in a renovated space at Clarks Creek Elementary School. It has been suggested that the project include water to each preschool classroom.
Wolfe said he would like to see the renovation include running the plumbing for the development preschool as well as the community preschool, which may come a year or two after.
He said the grand total for all the projects would be in the realm of $10.5 million to be spread out over several years.
“Those projects we need to get to next summer will be about $1.5 million,” Wolfe said. “That GO (general obligation) bond will help with the Brentwood roof, developmental preschool, community preschool, and to recarpet the lower hallways (at Clarks Creek Elementary School).
The board was also told that recent projects at Plainfield Community Middle School and Clarks Creek Elementary School both came in under budget. The district was able to save $63,000 on the project at PCMS and $23,000 at Clarks Creek. Those funds will be used to update student furniture at PCMS and updates needed for the developmental preschool.
Board members asked if the upcoming projects would cause the board to ask for a referendum.
“I will do everything I can to not let that happen,” Wolfe said. “Not on my watch. We should be able to keep our debt service payments to $1 million per year.”