On Monday, the DeKalb Schools administration presented their plan to right size E-SPLOST V.
WHERE ARE WE
ESPLOST V projects were way under estimated and left the school district $166 million over budget. $93 million of the budget deficit comes from new facilities and additions … which shouldn’t surprise anybody.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
The administration admitted new facilities and additions projects had incomplete scopes and poor estimates. Program contingency is way too small and each project had no buffer for unforseen expenses. Furthermore, state reimbursements were way over estimated.
SO … WHAT’S THE PLAN
We can reclaim $263 million by removing from the project plan the following 8 middle school and high school projects. No GO bonds are recommended.
- Cross Keys MS conversion – $16.4 M
- Freedom MS addition – $11.8 M
- Peachtree MS addition – $17.8 M
- Chamblee HS addition – $28.1 M
- Clarkston HS addition – $22.7 M
- New Cross Keys HS – $111.9 M
- Dunwoody HS addition – $18.3 M
- Lakeside HS addition – $36.0 M
There are currently 6,000 open high school seats. As mentioned in Round 4 Redistricting, the DeKalb Schools administrative team said they wanted to build a plan around clearly defined goals, embrace collaboration and community engagement as well as hire an enrollment/redistricting analytics expert for district wide redistricting and consolidation of elementary, middle and high schools.
TURF, SPRINKLERS & SECURITY
The 8 middle school and high schools not getting additions, will keep turf and other originally planned projects. These schools will keep the following projects:
- Current Cross Keys HS – turf, security vestibule, sprinkler
- Freedom MS – security vestibule,
- Peachtree MS – all projects removed
- Chamblee HS – turf
- Clarkston HS – turf, security vestibule, accessibility improvements
- New Cross Keys HS – removed
- Dunwoody HS – turf
- Lakeside HS – turf
PROJECTS FULLY FUNDED IN ESPLOST V
• All sprinkler projects
• Artificial turf installations at high schools
• All security fencing and security vestibules
• Parking addition at 10 schools (new spaces only)
• All capital renewal projects
• Cedar Grove HS Auditorium addition
• New Indian Creek ES facility
• All technology projects (including GPS/ERP)
$96.8 Million – REMAINING BUDGET TO BE ALLOCATED
ESPLOST V budget is $561 million. The new project list will cost $464 million. What do we do with the other $96.8 million? These 3 scenarios have been proposed by DeKalb Schools administration.
If we can survive the current ESPLOST, the referendum for the next ESPLOST will be November 2021.