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Construction Needs Great At Davie Schools

By Beth Cassidy
Enterprise Record

The school board heard last week it could cost more than $12 million to address physical needs at the schools, but that amount doesn’t include Davie High and any special projects that might be necessary.
The board met Oct. 23 for a presentation by Tom Balke of Little Diversified Architectural Consulting.
Balke, Tom Evans, schools maintenance director, and Michael Spillman, assistant maintenance and facilities manager, have been working to try to figure out what facility needs are at each school (except William Ellis and Davie High) and to put those needs in a priority order. Balke didn’t explore with the board each item at each school, but explained what they have is the beginning of a plan that will help the board.
“This is a living document, a tool to be utilized over the years to come. We took into account student safety, faculty safety, and curriculum, in determining priorities,” he said.
Those priorities were put into one of three levels, I, II, and III. Some of the needs that were determined included heating and air, roofing, classroom additions, and cafeteria renovations.
With four schools left to examine, Balke gave as a rough estimate about $467,000 per year over a nine year period to work on Priority I needs, or a total of about $4.2 million, but that amount will likely only cover items such as heating and air and roofing. Those priorities are usually funded from the capital outlay budget.
Superintendent Dr. Darrin Hartness said, “This is a compiled summary of hundreds of items and projects. It’s just a snapshot of how we might budget for these items, a roadmap we can follow when we sit down to do the capital outlay budget.”
He said some items might end up being bumped down to Priority II or III, or some might be moved to Priority I.
Steve Ridenhour asked Balke why Davie High wasn’t included, and Balke said it could be, but said that when the facilities assessment was done, the recommendation was for a new high school. That’s why Davie High wasn’t included in the priority project, he said.
“It makes sense to do this at the high school,” Ridenhour said.
Balke told the board the county’s growth is “flat,” with little change.
“That will help the district to address some of these needs, because it is much easier to do it in flat growth than if you were …