EXETER – Final numbers won’t be in until next month, but when all the dust settles on the Wyoming Area construction projects, the district will still be holding on to about $3 million of the original $20 million borrowed for the project.
John LaNunziata and Jerry Wall, school board members who campaigned on a promise to cut costs on the project, emphasized during Tuesday’s meeting that nearly $6 million was shaved off the original plans, which called for an addition and remodeling at Tenth Street Elementary and an addition and renovations at the Secondary Center.
Downsizing the Secondary Center addition accounted for most of the savings, but Wall said additional savings were realized because a delay in the project allowed interest to build on the already-borrowed funds. The money saved is also accumulating interest, adding to the savings, Wall noted.
Business Manager Tom Melone said about $5.5 million is in the account now, with a few contractors still owed payments. Melone said final numbers on the amount left after completion of the projects will be available in October. However, the district earmarked about $900,000 of that money for debt service on the project in order to balance the 2007-08 budget and $450,000 has already been paid, Melone said.
Wall said additional preventative maintenance projects undertaken by the district will use up at least another $500,000. These projects include renovations to the high school pool, work on science labs, bleachers repairs, recoating of the running track and security upgrades.
The district hopes to set aside the estimated $3 million that will remain from the original loan for renovations to Montgomery Avenue Elementary, Wall said. Work will include installing sprinklers, replacing heating and ventilation systems and new carpeting, he said. That work is on hold until it is eligible for state reimbursement in 2009, Wall said.
In other business, the board approved three payments totaling nearly $15,000 to settle three grievances. The largest payment of $12,857 was awarded to a teacher who changed positions and argued that the salary increase should be made retroactive, according to Solicitor Ray Hassey. Two other payments of $414 and $1,720 were made to teachers who disputed amounts owed for sick leave, Hassey said. All payments were ordered by an arbitrator.
The board also approved Diane Deleo as a long-term kindergarten substitute, appointed Rosa Schillaci as a daily substitute, added Marcia Flannelly to the substitute nurse list, approved Joseph Mauriello as a substitute cleaning person and appointed Margaret Henley as a special education aide.
Coaching appointments included Francis Hayes, assistant golf, $889; Amy Zoccola, assistant varsity field hockey, $2,059; Leslie Day, junior high field hockey, $1,830; Carmella Argento, assistant junior high cross country, $1,052; Jose Sosa, assistant varsity boys soccer, $2,059; Carlos Fernandes, junior high co-ed soccer, $1,830; Victoria Ziegler and Sara Mazzitelli, assistant girls volleyball, $1,151 each.