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2018-06-20 / Government & Schools / News

School system ends year with surplus

BY RICH GRISET STAFF WRITER

At its first business meeting since Rusty Fairheart became Chesterfield’s interim school superintendent, the School Board approved a new site location for Harrowgate Elementary (see story, Page 2), agreed to transfer ownership of the Watkins Annex to the county and reallocated a $10.7 million surplus from the current fiscal year.

Transfer of Watkins Annex

The School Board approved the transfer of the Watkins Elementary School Annex from the school system to the county. Located at 13801 Westfield Road, the annex was once part of Watkins Elementary. It now houses Connections Academy, an alternative education program for grades 9-12, and the Lifelong Learning Institute, a nonprofit aimed at meeting the educational, fitness and social enrichment needs of those age 50 and older.

Dual language immersion

The School Board approved a proposal to start dual language immersion programs at Robious and Elizabeth Scott elementary schools.

Both schools will begin offering immersion classes at the kindergarten level, with additional classes added at every grade level the following year. The plan is to use a “50/50 model,” wherein students take math and science in a foreign language and language arts and social sciences classes in English. Robious students will learn French; Elizabeth Scott students will learn Spanish.

Students at Elizabeth Scott will be selected by lottery, with the goal of having a student body comprising half native English speakers and half English-language learners.

Construction update

The School Board also approved entering a contract with RRMM Architects to design and perform engineering work for four elementary schools, and approved McDonough Bolyard Peck as construction manager for the Matoaca Middle School East addition.

Late last year, the School Board authorized RRMM and MBP to proceed with construction site test fits for replacements for Crestwood, Ettrick, Harrowgate and Reams elementary schools, using a new elementary prototype with a capacity for 750 students. Tuesday night, the School Board approved entering a contract with RRMM to design and engineer the schools for $4,431,655. It also approved entering a contract with MBP for construction management to the tune of $2,577,189.

The board also approved MBP to manage the new Matoaca Middle School East addition project at a cost of $257,661. The addition will be a free-standing, two-story academic wing that represents the first phase of a customized construction of a new prototypical middle school.

Financial report

Christina Berta, the school system’s chief finance officer, gave a presentation of CCPS’ financial plan and budget for fiscal year 2018.

Based on all information available to CCPS staff, the school system is projected to have an ending balance of $10.7 million for fiscal year 2018. Of that figure, $9.2 million is derived from operations savings; projected revenues are approximately $1.5 million above the original budget.

The School Board approved a plan to put $1.9 million of that balance toward the debt reserve, $2 million as an additional payment toward its supplemental retirement plan, $2.3 million toward the funding of subsequent budgets, $1 million toward school bus replacements and $3.5 million toward funding a projected payment gap for the SRP in fiscal year 2019.

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