Currituck schools seek $1.4M for projects
By Reggie Ponder
Thursday, May 17, 2018
CURRITUCK — Currituck school officials are asking for $1.4 million for capital projects in next year’s school district budget.
The figure is $400,000 more than the $1 million the school district has been getting annually from the county for capital outlay costs the past several years.
“We’re hoping that gets approved,” schools Superintendent Mark Stefanik said at the Currituck Board of Education work session earlier this month.
The $1.4 million request, which the board later approved, started out at $2.3 million before it was whittled down. Among the items deleted from the request were card reader entry systems for Currituck County High School and Moyock Middle School costing $27,605 and $24,500, respectively; replacement of a section of roof at Central Elementary School costing $150,000; energy management upgrades at Currituck Middle School and Moyock Elementary School costing $85,000 and $102,000, respectively; and an activity bus costing $100,000.
Although the card reader systems were removed from the schools’ capital outlay request, district officials have found an alternative way to fund the projects.
“We are able to install the new security systems in each school and each district-level building,” Stefanik said.
The $1.4 million being requested includes $532,000 for new technology, including $140,000 for Chromebooks for rising sixth-graders and $100,000 for replacement desktop computers.
Board member Will Crodick questioned figures in the capital budget he said looked like they had been rounded up — specifically, a $4,000 cost for mulch at each of the six elementary schools. Crodick asked if the same amount of mulch is actually needed at each school.
“I think we need to be making sure that we’re getting the most bang for our buck,” Crodick said.
Crodick raised the point because he said he was especially concerned about buildings like one at Knotts Island that he claimed had been allowed to take on water.
Matthew Mullins, the district’s director of facilities, maintenance and transportation, said the building at Knotts Island is a storage building that might end up being torn down.
Mullins said preventing water intrusion is his top priority for buildings as evidenced by the caulking and roofing projects in this year’s requests. But he said he has to prioritize and the Knotts Island storage building has not been a top priority.
Board member Karen Etheridge said she thought the maintenance staff had done a good job of prioritizing projects.
“We don’t need to micromanage,” she said.
Board member Janet Rose said she is proud of the condition of the school buildings in Currituck. Rose said she’s especially aware of that when visiting schools in other districts, adding that she was reminded of it recently when she visited a school in Pitt County.