The night voters approved Fort Wayne Community Schools' $119 million bond issue for its facilities, Coordinator Physical Plant Improvements Darren Hess said now the work begins.
Since then, the administration has worked on a plan for implementation, which Hess presented to members of the board during a work session Tuesday afternoon.
The plan includes hiring additional staff members to help with the many projects included in the $119 million.
Ten buildings will receive major infrastructure improvements. The district will catch up on chiller additions, windows and roof replacements at 26 other buildings.
The district will advertise for at least four additional positions added within the district to help with the added work: a consultant to oversee scheduling, an administrative position to help with paperwork, a coordinator for the catch-up projects and a clerk for the ten major projects.
When the district had a larger capital projects fund, the facilities department regularly staffed some of the positions, but when funds were cut so were people. The district expects all positions will be temporary.
“We need to get going…that's why we need help on this,” said Kathy Friend, chief financial officer.
All of the positions will be paid for out of the $119 million.
Of the catch-up projects, roofs or roof sections for 28 buildings will be replaced from 2013-2016. Windows at eight buildings will also be replaced during those years.
Chiller additions at six buildings will be completed by fall 2013 and site improvements at three of the 10 buildings undergoing major renovations will begin in 2013.
Major renovations will be staggered in a way that the district's staff can handle over the four construction years. Projects will be phased in, with the least amount of disruption to classroom instruction as possible.
Snider High School will undergo about $40 million worth of upgrades, the most of any building. The district hopes that it won't have to resort to the use of modular classrooms for students.
The board reminded Hess and the administration of the importance of being efficient with taxpayer dollars to prove the district can be trusted. The district plans to ask voters to continue paying the increased tax rate as old debt falls off to complete two more phases of renovations.
“I appreciate the thought and the scope of the work you've put into this,” said member Steve Corona. “ We need to get the first phase right in order to be able to continue with the next phases.”