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By Deana Carpenter
For The Almanac
A 2013-14 proposed final budget with a millage rate of 24.4432 mills was passed by school directors in the South Fayette district May 21 by a vote of 6-2, with board members Teresa Burroughs and Alexander Czaplicki voting against. Board member Alan Vezzi was absent.
The 24.4432 rate includes a 0.527 mill increase, or the two percent index that the district is allowed to take. The 2013-14 rate is adjusted due to the recent county-wide reassessment. The millage rate for this school year is 28.8241.
The budget includes expenditures of about $41.7 million. District administrators have cut nearly $2 million of the budget since the budget process started earlier this year, said Superintendent Dr. Bille Rondinelli. She said about $15,000 was cut from the budget last week, including a $10,000 cut to the new intermediate school’s library and cuts of $5,000 from the elementary school.
“We are working steadily,” Rondinelli said. She said the district is “being fiscally responsible,” even with the fact that she said South Fayette is the fastest-growing district in the state.
Rondinelli said the budget numbers could change before the board votes on a final budget, which it has to do by the end of June. The board is scheduled to have an in-depth discussion of the budget during its May 28 board meeting.
Intermediate School Progress
Joe Brennan of construction management firm P.J. Dick updated the board on the progress of the new intermediate school at the May 21 meeting. He said “substantial completion” of the building will be finished by July 22, with final completion by Aug. 15.
The board is scheduled to tour the new building sometime in June and an official grand opening for the new school is scheduled for Aug. 10.
With the new school, the district has been looking into what to do with the existing trailer classrooms that are currently being used. District director of maintenance Dean Stewart said he has had four different companies look at the trailers, and none are interested in purchasing the trailers. He said he did receive an estimate of $24,000 to haul away the trailers, but that was not a viable option.
Stewart said that although the trailers are OK for students for the rest of this school year, they would have to be repaired significantly if the district wanted to get any further use out of them.
“They’re not really worth much of anything,” he said. Stewart said the heating and cooling systems need repaired and so do the walls, roofs and carpets. He said all the windows in the trailers leak. He suggested maybe putting the trailers on Craigslist to see if anyone would be interested in them.
“The cost of moving the units out of the district is way too high,” Stewart said. No official decision was made on what to do with the trailers.