Financial Concerns Cause Master Facilities Rethinking
The District 205 Master Facilities Implementation Committee met Thursday afternoon to review the current state of District finances and how that relates to the Master Facilities Project.

District Administration claims they have been hit hard by reduced funding from the state and federal government. Home values in Galesburg have also been relatively low in addition to lower than expected revenues from the penny tax.

The Implementation Committee heard a recommendation to issue bonds to make payroll due to the distribution of the property taxes.

Interim Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Jim Rich says that cost inflation may change a few things for the district.

"If you've got a deficit one year, unless you make drastic cuts, you carry that deficit into next year," Rich said. "Plus, if the state takes more money away, you've then got double, and the original deficit is still there. We'd probably have to RIF (Reduction in Force) 60 teachers or something to balance the budget next year. How do you do that? Where are 60 teachers?"

Also under review was the current timeline of Silas Willard repairs. It was recommended to move the Silas project up the list and issue Life Safety Bonds to make modest repairs to the other schools in the mean time.

The remaining buildings would then be taken care of after Silas was completed.

The implementation committee considered sending to the full board, a possible referendum to be put on November's ballot - asking residents whether they would like to rebuild or remodel Silas Willard.

Implementation Committee Member Bob Fulton says the District wasn't locked into anything, but it's a big change.

"We had talked about the options of moving one way or another," Fulton said. "Wow...we're changing a lot of things we [originally] agreed to."

If approved, and without a design competition, Silas Willard would see the updates completed as soon as August of 2014.

The measure would need to go to the full school board for approval.
03 22 13 by Newsroom
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