Monday, September 13, 2010

The TRUE COST of moving the MIS data center



Click on the images above to see or print a larger view.

We received this document showing the true cost of the proposed move of the MIS data center that the board is voting on today. When all is said and done, the cost of the move and required renovations alone is closer to $5 million.

Page one of the proposal to the board says,

"The Data Center is the last department to relocate from 3770 North Decatur Road. This group will move to the William Bradley Bryant Center with the rest of the Management Information System Department.

The move will include the following:
  • Ten staff members
  • Core telephone switch supporting telecom district wide
  • Two AS400's including all associated disk space, tape drives, printers, etc.
  • Multiple critical servers that support district wide applications such as PATS, Voicemail, etc.
  • Fiber infrastructure required to maintain the core backbone that supports 150 DeKalb County School system locations.
The functions supported from this location include, but not limited to, the following:
  • Payroll
  • Telecom
  • Student Information Systems
  • Accounts Payables, Accounts Receivables, Purchasing and other financial applications
  • Human Resource applications 
  • Warehouse applications supporting reordering for all school locations
  • Etc.
The renovation of the William Bradley Bryant center is required to provide adequate power, cooling and security. In addition, the fiber optic cable will be relocated to the Administrative and Instructional Complex (AIC) to maintain the redundancy and reliability of the wide area network.

Consolidation of Management Information System staff to one location will allow for improved manageability of all systems as well as improved efficiency and redundancy among staff.

The cost breakdown on page 3 states that $3 million goes to building improvements and $1.5 million to MIS (the additional $329,000 is proposed for exterior repair, painting and window glazing. There is apparently a current budget allocation of $1 million and the department is asking for the remaining $3.5 million from SPLOST "Program Contingency" funds now totaling between $35-40 million due to cost savings on SPLOST 3 projects.

106 comments:

Anonymous said...

The DCSS is supposed to vote for approval for this tonight at the meeting at the PALACE. 6pm. Can anyone make it to the meeting? I have sent my BOE member a very concerned email regarding the costs associated with this project and have WARNED him that if he votes FOR this increase in costs, it will cause a public outcry which he will have to anwser.

Just for starters, why does a department with a staff of 10 PEOPLE need $550,000 worth of site work that includes 220 parking spaces with curbs? 10 people in the whole department!!!!! It is on the form, #2 SITE WORK.

Item 10, Specialties, $22,000 for window treatments, toilet accessories and fire extinguishers?

Item 11, $2,500 for a refrigerator, microwave and a water cooler?

Item 12, Furnishings, $125,940? Don't they have existing furnishings?

Item 15, Plumbing, $34,000 to upgrade bathrooms?

And this isn't included with the toilet accessories for $22,000 in Item 10?

I have heard that we have schools that don't even have working COPIERS!!!! Teachers have been going to Kinko's to make copies and paying for them with their own money.

We have kids at high schools who have to sit on the floor because there is not enough room or chairs for them to have a seat!

The board is more concerned about spending $5,090,870 on moving an MIS department of 10 employees than the current conditions at our schools?

Please use this information to notify/email your DCSS BOE member before they approve this wasteful spending at the board meeting tonight.

Respectfully,

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

All,

Thank you for your concern and comments. The
renovation of the WBBC is the moving of the data center from the vacant building on N. Decatur Rd. to the WBBC. This data center is considered the "nerve center" critical to the operations of the school system. This renovation affects each and every student, parent and employee in the system. This is not a "make-over" to the building as many seem to believe. Ms. Colman will be asked to explain this renovation in more detail tomorrow at the meeting.

Thank you,
Pam Speaks
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Cerebration said...

So, Pam, shall we pay no attention that $3 million line item for building improvements?

Anonymous said...

If it aint broke, don't fix it. We have enough broken things in DCSS properties where children (Not MIS or central office staff) spend most of their time. Wake-up BOE and start being fiscally responsible with taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Building a is broke

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that they passed this document along. However, when you are about to vote on something and it takes a person, like Cere, to read the agenda, look at each individual agenda item, try to make sense of it and then wonder what it is, then in my opinion, the DCSS leadership is not being quite transparent enough.

In this current situation, where so much has been hidden from public view, like the audit that Clew hid, you'd think Tyson and the BOE would be more transparent. If they would be more transparent, I believe we would be more receptive to their ideas or at least listening to their ideas.

I am convinced that these Friday media dumps are on purpose and an attempt to hide certain things from the public. I thank God we have Cere! I'd be willing to listen about MIS moves, consolidation and upgrades if Ms. Tyson would be forthcoming, open and honest!

Remember folks the only thing I heard on Friday from Ms. Tyson was on WSB regarding "Bookgate". There was nothing about the MIS move, it took Cere to uncover that.

Come on DCSS, the stakeholders and taxpayers deserve better in this current environment. Open and Honest dialogue is all we are asking for. When you attempt to sneak something through or hide something, like the audit, how can we trust you? I'm just saying....

SongCue said...

Anon 12:13 hits the nail on the head. It could be that this money IS needed in order for our MIS department to (possibly) work almost as well as it should---a pipe dream, I know! But good golly, why don't they say that in the explanation on the agenda?

The trust and respect that the public might have once had for the administration and school board are gone. They'll have to be earned back and the only way to do that is go above and beyond what other, functioning school systems do when they are presented with items on which to vote. And they'll have to KEEP doing it for quite a long time.

That's just the way it is, folks. Total and complete transparency from now until we have a fully functioning entity again.

Anonymous said...

@ Be True to Your School
"It could be that this money IS needed in order for our MIS department to (possibly) work almost as well as it should---a pipe dream, I know! "

This move has nothing in it to make MIS function more effectively and efficiently. It's merely a move of 10 employees and the AS 400 so they are under the same roof as the other MIS employees. There's no change in software, hardware, personnel, reporting structure or the level of input that parents and teachers have when making technology decisions that affect students. Those problems remain.

Why in this day and age, disparate groups in a department have to be under the same roof is beyond me. You'd think a technology group would understand this even if no one else does.

Anonymous said...

Transparency in DKC government and DCSS is a dream. People like Cere have to dig for the information. The AJC would need at least a half dozen reporters and a separate 10 page section each day to keep track of the machinations that go on.

SPLOST money was supposed to be "for the chillun" Fix the leaking roofs and AC systems in the SCHOOLS. Let the overpaid employees and the privileged BOE members be a bit hot or cold.

Anonymous said...

Transparency in DKC government and DCSS is a dream. People like Cere have to dig for the information. The AJC would need at least a half dozen reporters and a separate 10 page section each day to keep track of the machinations that go on.

SPLOST money was supposed to be "for the chillun" Fix the leaking roofs and AC systems in the SCHOOLS. Let the overpaid employees and the privileged BOE members be a bit hot or cold.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Anonymous 1:47 PM

I am not sure why you think I said anything encouraging about MIS and/or the possibility that they might need that money to get MIS almost up to speed or to "possibly work as well as it should". I said nothing of the kind!

First, every penny we can scrape together is desperately needed in our schools and classrooms.

Second, "Possibly work as well as it [MIS] should" is unacceptable.

Third, the entire MIS department MUST be outsourced. They have demonstrated repeatedly that they haven't a clue --causing extra work for our teachers and delivering suspect data.

Second

Anonymous said...

@ Be True to Your School

Sorry. My post should have directed to Song Cue.

I don't think all of MIS could be outsourced, but many departments should be. There seems to be an awful disconnect when the personnel who make the decisions on close to tens of millions of dollars of hardware and software decisions for the classroom do so without one iota of parent, student or teacher input. Take a look at DCSS's Three year Technology Plan developed under Ms. Tyson.

Not a single parent, student or teacher had any input into DCSS's Tech Plan. Is anyone surprised Ms. Tyson didn't get input on the policies for SACS?

I'm going to repost the Technology Plan. Please tell me if you see even a single parent, student or teacher involved in these very expensive technology decisions that are supposed to be pulling our kids into the 21st Century.

Core Team
Ms. Ramona Tyson, Deputy Chief Superintendent for Business Operations and Finance
Mr. Tony Hunter, Director, Management Information Systems
Ms. Valerie Riley, MIS Project Coordinator, Office of Technology Planning and Policy (OTPP)
Technology Planning Team (see below)

Technology Planning Team:
Dr. Mindy DiSalvo, MIS Assistant Director, Grants and Community Programs
Dr. Regina Merriwether, MIS Assistant Director, Instructional Technology
Ms. Natalie Terrell, MIS Assistant Director, Project Management Office (PMO)
Ms. Joyce Miller, MIS Assistant Director, Telecommunications

On January 6, 2009, the technology planning team met to discuss and plan for the “think tank” meetings with the various departments. The meetings were held on January 29 and March 18, 2009 to evaluate the district's current status related to educational technology and to identify existing gaps between our vision and our current reality. The district representation was as follows:

Mr. Robert Moseley, Deputy Chief Superintendent for School Operations
Mr. David Guillory, Executive Director, Transportation
Ms. Julie Rhame, Sr. Director, Media and Public Relations
Mr. Quentin Fretwell, Director, Student Relations
Dr. Gale Thomas, Director, Student Support Services
Dr. Kishia Towns-Dixon, Magnet/Theme School Coordinator, Instruction
Dr. Frankie Callaway, Deputy Superintendent, Administration
Dr. Sonja Alexander, Director, Professional Learning

Anonymous said...

Part 2 of post (DCSS Tech Plan):

Ms. Gloria Talley, Deputy Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction
Mr. Tony Eitel, Executive Director, Assessment and Accountability
Dr. Delmas Watkins, Director, Career Technology
Mr. John O’Connor, Executive Director, Special Services
Ms. Rhonda Wells, Coordinator, High School Instruction
Ms. Kimberly Jones, Instructional Coach, Exceptional Education and Support Services
Ms. Alita Anderson, Coordinator, Elementary Instruction
Mr. Marcus Turk, Chief Financial Officer, Finance
Dr. Joyce Wimberly, Director, School Nutrition
Mr. Larry Hammel, Director, Finance
Mr. Michael Florio, Director, Risk Management
Dr. Jamie Wilson, Chief Human Resource Officer, Human Resource
Ms. Patti Reed, Director, Employment Services
Ms. Brenda Hudgins, Manager, Technology
Ms. LaTarae Johnson, Resource Specialist, PATS
Mr. John Brown, Specialist, Compliance
Ms. Patricia Pope, Chief Operations Officer, Operations
Ms. LaRon Cousin, Assistant Director, Budget
Ms. Tiffany Nowlin, Administrative Services, Plant Services
Ms. Ramona Tyson, Deputy Chief Superintendent for Business Operations and Finance
Core Team (mentioned above)
Mr. Chris Guidi, Security Officers, Infrastructure and Support
Mr. Stan Mitchem, Manager, Network Services
Ms. Faye French, Coordinator, Student Information Systems
Mr. Ron Hilburn, Coordinator, Information Systems
Mr. Joseph Swing, Assistant Director, Technical and Support Services
Mr. Thomas Cox, System Engineer, Telecommunications

On January 16, 2009, the technology planning team met with Dr. Jo Williamson, our State Technology Plan liaison to discuss the Georgia State Department of Education’s expectations and changes for the 2009 – 2012 technology plan.

Following this meeting, the technology planning team met on February 6, 2009, to organize the draft in order to meet the February 12, 2009 E-rate submission deadline.

On April 21, 2009, the technology planning team met to discuss in detail the template that would be created for the final document and to determine roles and responsibilities for finalizing the 2009 – 2012 technology plan.

Anonymous said...

Regarding DCSS Technology Plan:

If you want to read the entire plan here is the link:
http://temp.dekalb.k12.ga.us/mis/files/dcss2009-2012techplan.pdf

Anonymous said...

This just shows that those running DCSS, do not use the tax payer dollars in a responsible way. DCSS is not able to do anything with integrity and clarity. Why not do it right the first time? Why is everything in DCSS done without forethought or thinking? Glad that I do not run my home this way. We'd been broke and homeless long ago.

We're 49th !!! (out of 50) said...

WHOO - Hooo !!!!

Georgia's SAT scores CONTINUE to DECLINE !!!

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgias-average-sat-scores-612437.html

When your state's average SAT score is BELOW the state averages of Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, you know you're pretty low on the food chain. . . .

Cerebration said...

If you break down the $5 million request in this MIS data "move", you see that really only $1.5 million is for the move (which still seems pricey to me). The rest is for building upgrades and cooling and security.

Basically, I still cannot understand why this department can't simply be moved out to the Mtn Industrial Center. Heck move ALL of MIS out there. We actually own that building (word on the street is that we do not own WBBC - it's a long-term lease). Plus we spent bundles of money to renovate Mtn Industrial. The place is ready - it doesn't need money for a reno.

And if you need space, then move a school out of there, like Open Campus (Eliz Andrews). That is an extremely difficult location for students to get to (and they can't ride a bus). Terrible MARTA service out there. Why not use Avondale for them? At least there's a MARTA station nearby. Or gee - use the WBBC building for Open Campus! Moving Open Campus to the Mtn Industrial building was not the best idea, IMO.

At any rate, if the board blanket endorses this plan this evening, then it is proof that this board has learned not one thing. They have not learned to question expenses (their main job!) They are still rubber-stampers looking to deposit chits in their favor banks.

Anonymous said...

Rumor is that there is a potential buyer for the Memorial Drive property. I will believe it when I see it. (A sold sign that is!)

Cerebration said...

That is one of the biggest, most unbelievable rumors I've ever heard. Sounds like a smokescreen to push this vote through.

Anonymous said...

I just sent an email to my BOE reps and to Bowen. I don't expect much, since they are probably sitting in traffic, right now, headed out to the Palace for the big meeting!

If hey don't defer this agenda item to the retreat, I'll be angry. Tyson should wait in line with the projects that were promised to the voters and taxpayers of SPLOST 3. If they go ahead and approve the funds, I'll do everything in my power to make sure Redovian does not win re-election.

Why can't this bunch at DCSS be transparent and give stakeholders a chance to weigh in on this proposed expenditure, especially using SPLOST funds. They didn't do it when they approved the Palace funding, they didn't do it when they paid for America's Choice or for the many programs no one seems to be able to give and ROI on the expenditure.

Enough! Open and honest government, definitely a thing of the past!

Anonymous said...

I emailed Ms. Tyson and it seems to have bounced back and so I emailed her again, and it bounced back again.

Her email box must be full?

Dunwoody Mom said...

When your state's average SAT score is BELOW the state averages of Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, you know you're pretty low on the food chain

Actually, it is not fair to compare GA and those other states. 74% of GA students take the SAT, whereas in AL and MS, it's like 10%.

No Duh said...

Dingbat question. What is the "Memorial Drive" property?

Cerebration said...

I think the poster means the AB buildings on North Decatur... not Memorial Drive.

Be True to Your School said...

@ Dunwoody Mom 3:47 PM

You are absolutely right about how few students in Alabama and Mississippi take the SAT. I think that those states' universities also prefer the ACT.

The best benchmark to use -- now that we know that SACS is gutless and SACS accreditation is worthless -- is the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress). Go to http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/

One valid and interesting thing to look at, though, are the number of National Merit Semi-Finalists, Finalists and Scholarship winners, as well as the National Achievement Semi-Finalists, Finalists and Scholarship winners. Compare school to school. It gets especially interesting when you compare high achieving public schools with private schools.

Anonymous said...

Since we're talking about MIS. I just received my 5th graders progress report. My son got 1-E, 3-A's and 1-B. What's interesting is that the report HAS the new logo in the upper left. However can you guess whose name appears as Superintendent? .......

Time's up! Crawford Lewis, Ph.D.

What's even more interesting is that my Middle Schooler has the correct logo and Ms. Tyson as Interim Super.

So much for our accurate data center. Ready to give Ms. Tyson, 5 millions dollars of SPLOST 3 funds committed for other projects?

I bet an outsourced MIS company would make sure all new documents released and web pages would be updated and correct! I'm tired of seeing premiere on random documents and web pages.

Where's Jamal Edwards when you need him? LOL!

Anonymous said...

The move may or may not be needed.

But this is indisputable: DCSS MIS has made poor decision and poor decision (eSIS!), and has poor customer service to our teachers and students.

The public should be very, very wary of this fundng request. But the BOE is going to pass it with little questioning and little fact-checking. It's a done deal.

Sandy Spruill said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dekalbparent said...

Wow, Sandy. Just Wow.

Anonymous said...

Please listen tonight. I think you will find out that some of your
information is incorrect. No money is going to be used from the $40
million surplus in SPLOST 3. It would come from a SPLOST contingency fund.
No students are going to be deprived because of the Bryant Center.

Thank you,

Don McChesney


*****

Just read Sandy's response and before I did, I said to myself, it's a done deal. Our kids attend schools with leaking roofs and mold ventilation systems, but again we add to the expenditures of the administration. Our kids are being hurt and I am sick and tired of it.

Cerebration said...

I think the board members need to go back and look at the video from last Monday's work session. Ms. Colman definitely stated that the money will come from SPLOST 3 contingency. The document posted shows that there was $1 million already allocated. Now they will be adding $3.5 million more to the fund. And yes, it definitely includes renovations - and parking improvements. I'm curious is Sarah will agree to that...

Anonymous said...

Tom Bowen is "scolding" SCW for her behavior at the called meeting and now she is apologizing.

"I did not intend to offend anyone with my comments at the called meeting. I value all of our employees including Ramona Tyson and Mr. Drake. To the extent that my remarks offended anyone, I apologize. I invite my fellow board members to work together to move the system forward. I am very passionate about our system's students..." I got to far behind, but this is SCW's apology.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Roberts is objecting to the state law that requires the system to give empty building to charter schools.

She wants to hold up on acting on this until acting on redistricting.

We may need the property. And she is mad at the state.

She is not anti-charter, but thinks we need to hold off.

There are about 10 unused facilities in DeKalb, but only two are totally not be used. Heritge and Hooper Alexander are being used for nothing.

It sounds like a rotten deal for charters as the system can take the buildings back at any time.

Walker is asking questions now for clarification.

Womack is up now. Doesn't want to move to rapidly. Has an idea to use Heritage in that community.

But will vote for it anyway.

Anonymous said...

Now Ms. Colman is defending the move of the Data Center.

The data center is very important and I guess vulnerable in Building A.

Even lunches would cease if the network is sabotaged or vandalized. Everything would cease!

Apparently no costumer yet to buy building A.

Claims funding is from outside of 40 million extra.

Anonymous said...

Womack is referencing the blog right now. (He said he stooped to read it.)

Opps. I had to get up to stir dinner so I missed a couple of his comments.

Womack wants us to get our facts right.

McChesney is certain we are all wrong. It is hurtful when these kinds of things. Call your board member. (Ok, really, if they return your call.) He talked to three people today. He says we aren't using the 40 million extra.

This is apparently a different contingency fund. We have a plan.

Ms. Colman -- this is an estimate. May come in lower. May look at the scope of the work.

(stirring again)

Ms. Roberts deals with facts and data. We have to keep these items safe.

Anonymous said...

This MIS move is a disaster waiting to happen. These are the same people who decided to buy ESIS off the shelf. How smoothly do you think this will go?? Dekalb School System is REACTIONARY not PLANNING-FOCUSED.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Darn dinner.

Walker saying we have a top notch staff and we are wrong to say that isn't the right way to spend the money. But he liked the suggestions but he stands behind our top flight staff.

Redovian-- If property sales, what will happen the money. Ms. Colman Doesn't know Calling on Mr. Turk. Mr. Turk doesn't understand the question. (top notch staff?) Redovian repeated the question. Turk said money would go to capital prjects.

Redovian said system wasn't transparent enough.

Bowen clarifying how money from property sales can be used. Can actually be moved around.

Speaks wanted to assure the community that we weren't just taking the money and using it for adults. Understands that people might not agree with the use but will understand the rationale

Blog took a beating this round.

Anonymous said...

"Dingbat question. What is the "Memorial Drive" property?"

Would that be East DeKalb Campus?

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/schools/maps/

Look at the aerial map by way of the address link.

Anonymous said...

IT'S A DONE DEAL! ALL 9 VOTED FOR IT!

By the way, the blog did not take a hit. Even Redovian said he was uncomfortable and had some of the same questions.

My only beef is that they put this on the agenda released Friday, Cere had to spend to do research and find out the information since most of us were miffed!

Just think if they had a discussion in one meeting, like last week. Spent a week to get the public input and moved forward tonight with a discussion and vote. That would have been much more transparent. Plus, the parents and taxpayers would have had more information about the project!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I meant the central office. Not East Campus. I guess technically it isn't on Memorial Drive.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say maybe Ms. Colman should have presented the project last week. Plus, where the funds were coming from.

Then this week discussion and voted. Parents would have had a week to speak with their BOE reps etc..

MORE TRANSPARENCY PLEASE! That's all this blog wanted. Plus, when Cere found out the truth yesterday she updated her thread! DCSS gives us no choice except to research on our own. If they were transparent then we would not have to get all our info from Cere.

Thanks Cere for all you do!

Anonymous said...

It was on last week's agenda.

Anonymous said...

"Claims funding is from outside of 40 million extra."

Isn't that what they always say about Title 1 funds? It's free money and a "piggy bank" for DCSS's administration to spend as they want?

Dunwoody Mom said...

Well, if it is outside the $40 million, did they say where it is coming from? Sorry, I cannot watch - hubby is watching football.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:17 pm

"By the way, the blog did not take a hit. Even Redovian said he was uncomfortable and had some of the same questions."

I think Redovian is only interested in getting re-elected. He really needs to be moved off this board. Since he's been on it, our students achievement has gone down, our kids are crammed into overcrowded classrooms, and the superintendent he helped hire is up on RICO charges. His performance has been awful. Womack is my rep (if he had any integrity, he would resign) and unfortunately he is not up for re-election.

Redovian's area is near my neighborhood. I already donated money to Nancy Jester, and I intend to go door to door for her in the next 7 weeks. I encourage everyone who reads this blog to donate money and/or time to unseat the current BOE members up for election. If your BOE member is not up for election (as Womack is in my case), then donate or work for a candidate in the next district over.

pscexb said...

Dunwoody Mom, my recollection is this money would come from program contingency funds. As I understand, this was contingency monies built into the SPLOST program for unexpected needs.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Thanks!!! That does make sense to me, then. I know from working on various projects in my job, there are contingencies built it.

Why they could not be more forward with this to begin with....

DCSS, BOE...just be honest with us. Most of us do have common sense and understand the "real world".

Anonymous said...

@7:17, I'll say it again for those who missed it: This is a rubber-stamping board who will at end-of-the-day approve ALL recommendations of the administration, regardless of the counter-rhetoric they spew to the public. It's not what they SAY, but how they raise their hands. This time: 9 up. Feel well represented?

pscexb said...

Dunwoody Mom, my recollection also is that their information sheet regarding this item had more specifics. One Board member commented that had they had this last week and it came up in the discussions, they probably would not have had all the emails and calls over the past week. They requested future packages to that level of detail.

Anonymous said...

This money may be in some contingency fund, but it just doesn't make sense of why this didn't happen when everyone moved to the Palace. It doesn't feel right and as taxpayers we have every right to question after the year, RICO charges, and other misspending we constantly see.

Cerebration said...

I'd like to know about this "other" contingency fund that is not SPLOST money. Where has it been all this time? Where exactly are they getting the $4.5 million to move the data center and renovate the WBBC?

If they're talking about the "Project Contingency" fund, then it most certainly is SPLOST money.

The facts are -

-- We do not have enough SPLOST money to address all of the $2 billion in identified and prioritized "needs".

--Due to the economy, some projects have been deemed unnecessary and others have come in under budget as construction costs have declined, freeing up more funds for the future which have been placed in what is called a "Project Contingency" fund as the projects close out.

--Voters assumed these funds should be used to address those projects on the Prioritized Needs Assessment list originally used to sell the SPLOST tax to the voters.

--However, it now appears that these funds are considered "outside of SPLOST" and the board is going to determine how to spend this anticipated $40 million as if it is a windfall.

--The board insists that the renovation (documents posted on this blog) of the William Bradley Bryant Center (often referred to as the WBBC) along with the costly move of the MIS Data Center (which did have $1 million budgeted for it as part of the Admin move) will not effect school projects or take money from SPLOST. Now, I ask yet again, where EXACTLY is the money coming from then?

--Projects on the Priorities list for SPLOST 3 will continue to be funded with original SPLOST 3 collections, but the savings will go into the Contingency (aka: windfall) fund.

Which begs the question -- Why not spend the contingency fund to continue funding the original priority list of school projects that we have been told we do not have enough money to completely fund (you know, the $2 billion of needs).

And the second question - why does the school system not disseminate reasonable information in a reasonable time frame (gee - how about posting comments here - or starting your own blog?) Why instead do our school leaders belittle and dismiss the questions and concerns of the very tax payers who pay their salaries and who they are supposed to represent.

I mean really, how can Paul Womack, an elected official actually publicly state that he "stooped to reading the blog" (the opinions and concerns of the tax payers he represents? That's disheartening to think that we have representation who holds such disdain for members of his very own community.

Anonymous said...

Sandy

Paul Womack was elected because of voters who believed he could return Lakeside to its former glory. They wanted a board member who they believe would effectively fight for Lakeside.

In the current climate of DCSS, I can't say I blame them. We all want our schools to have what they need and because of how messed up things are, schools that are represented by weak or ineffective board members lose again and again.

Anonymous said...

I like that they scolded Ms. Woods and I thought that her apology was somewhat genuine.

She is passionate. Sometimes to passionate and she certainly doesn't have a big picture view, but I genuinely believe that she thinks she is doing what is right for her community.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:39

How is that working for the voters? Seems to me Womack the rest of the board members have really screwed the tax payers and children of the district. I live in Womack's district and did not vote for him. I did not understand why or how he won, as after only living in DeKalb for one year, I could see how messed up the system was.

I keep praying for better board members this time around.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:42, sometimes it's not just about YOUR community, but the entire system, and she often seems to forget about that.

Cerebration said...

She does try. They beat her to the money every time. That's why I was surprised she would vote to pave the parking lot at WBBC. She's always complaining about the lack of parking at her schools.

As far as my above comment - please, if anyone has contradictory information, share it here. Am I wrong? Am I right? Am I half-wrong? I have no idea - board reps stopped answering my emails long ago...

Please bring the information about where this WBBC funding is coming from to the blog. Plus - Was the equipment really at risk of 'attack' at building A? Will it be safer at WBBC?

Cerebration said...

All I've EVER asked for on this subject is that this project be discussed and debated along with all the other contenders for this $40 million at the board retreat. The problem to me is that THIS project was able to cut in line after being told "no" by this very board in the past (before Tyson was superintendent).

It may not actually BE - but it LOOKS like a power play.

If it had emerged as a heavily discussed item of need at a retreat along with discussion and consideration for school projects, perhaps it would have gone through more palatably.

Anonymous said...

Cere,

I agree with you and your questions. If this equipment was in such danger, why wasn't it included with the Palace move and update?

I just want transparency. I keep waiting.

There has been too many questionable decisions that just seem hurry up and do it, and without enough forethought. Maybe it's the Quaker in me, where decisions aren't made until a great deal of thought is put into them. I just don't see enough questioning and thought put into the decisions that are being made.
This goes for salary decisions, employment decisions, building decisions-every decision this board makes. All of these decisions made, and our schools remain in disrepair.

Thank you Cere, for all that you do for ALL kids of DeKalb. It's about time, someone was asking questions.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cerebration said...

Nothing against Joe Reed, he seems to be a very good principal, but when you intercept the hiring process (we were twice promised a national search for a principal), then you limit the choices. Who knows who Lakeside could have gotten had they really searched nationally for an experienced high school principal.

Anonymous said...

I never thought Reed was all that great. He was a yes man at Sagamore Hills ES - how do you think he stayed afloat in the "Friends and ...Family" business? Maybe he's better at Lakeside.

Anonymous said...

Henderson report cards haeve the new logo and Ms. Tyson as Interim Supoer.

Anonymous said...

Just make sure when you walk door to door campaigning for the BOE candidates opposing Jim Redovian, Sarah Copelin-Wood, Eugene Walker, Zepora Roberts, and Jay Cunningham you add this to your talk with prospective voters.

Be sure to print out the mug shots of Lewis and Pope/Reid and tell prospective voters how Redovian, Copelin-Wood, Walker, Roberts, and Cunningham supported them.

I'm not kidding. That's what I'm going to do. It's a matter of name recognition. If the people in their district have a negative impression of the names of Redovian, Copelin-Wood, Walker, Roberts, and Cunningham, they'll vote against them. Most people don't pay much attention to the BOE elections - so all you have to do is make a negative association between their names and the incumbent BOE members. That shouldn't be too hard to do. Set your goal as 50 or 100 doors to knock on and/or send a mass email to everyone you know in DeKalb and ask them to send a mass email to everyone they know. I have friends all over DeKalb. I'll send the names of these incumbents to everyone in DeKalb so if they see any of these names on the ballot, they'll recognize the name and hopefully they'll make a decision to vote them out.

Anonymous said...

Well why should lakeside have a national search for principal? It's not like the other high schools get to do that. Witness dunwoody high school's new principal.

Anonymous said...

I believe that point to mean that a better, more thorough search should be had for all principals, vice principals, and other important administrators than currently done.

Anonymous said...

Or we could just have friends, family, sorority and fraternity members, and church members to be principals. That's worked out really well for our students.

Cerebration said...

Who is Dunwoody High's new principal and what happened to the last one? Did he get placed anywhere yet?

Anonymous said...

Too bad @ 9:01.

Transparency in DeKalb costs you, nowadays about a grand.

If you want the complete SACS response, which is probably available via e-mail or .pdf for nothing, too bad.

Instead if you want to review its contents, the DCSS web site clearly states you'll pay $625+ ($.025/page) as well as $14.00 per hour for someone to make the copies (THAT copier probably works!).

I don't know what P.O.'s me the most:

1) $0.25 per page? Why is this cost 2 to 4 times higher than the cost in for-profit copy companies in the private sector?

2) Why is there a $14.00/hour fee added on to the $0.25/page copy cost? Just how many copies per hour can a high speed copy machine make? Who's the friend/family standing by at $14/hr? WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PER HOUR TAKE DCSS PLANS at $0.25/sheet + $ 14.00 per hour service fee?

3) Why are taxpayers required to A) File an Open Records Request to get the detail of the most important issue (SACS accrediation) that has ever in history affected their children, and 2) Why does each interested taxpayer need to pay such substantial sums when presumably each taxpayer has already paid the legal/administrative fees to get the SACS response put together in the first place?

4) Here's the facts from DCSS' web site:http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/sacs-casi-accreditation/dcss-response-to-sacs-casi-request-for-information-(2010-09-09).pdf

It just make me sick.

Cynical? Yes!

Anonymous said...

Rodney Swanson is the new dunwoody principal. He seems fine but there was no nationwide search, not even close. They spent about two weeks on the "search".

Anonymous said...

I don't think the former principal of DHS is with the system anymore.

Anonymous said...

Several things..

I understand the MIS item was on the agenda. However, how about the document that explained everything? Cere did not get anything until email boxes, of the BOE, started filling up. In my opinion, this plan was being voted on under the radar. The stakeholders have a right to know where 3 to 5 million dollars is going and where the funds are coming from. If our BOE does not understand this and want to grandstand etc.. then I will help unseat them. Enough!

It seemed to me the BOE was highly defensive tonight. I think we're getting to them. Their email boxes must have been stuffed this weekend. I do know there are staffers who watch these blogs and report back to the leadership.

I'm also tired of seeing Moseley in the front row, does anyone else feel that way? I just can't trust that man. I wish he would start looking for a job somewhere else.

regarding the closing comments,
I cheer Redovian trying to help Chamblee High, I'm not sure if this is a re-election ploy or not. I hope Mr. Redovian let's his colleagues, SCW and Zepora know that CCHS residents are a highly diverse community and NOT just "white" their words, like they accused Nancy Creek of being. Redovian is right about one thing, every High School has been taken care of lately but one, CCHS. Redovian has said Chamblee needs a new building, I'm glad he is researching ways to get something done. Why wait any longer? They know they will need a building, whether they're going to house Cross Keys non-technical students or not. The high schools that surround Chamblee are close to or over capacity.

Keep going Jim, you might get my vote if you pull it off. However, right now Nancy Jester is an attractive choice!

Anonymous said...

Who exactly was it that "promised" lakeside a nationwide search?

Cerebration said...

Dr. Lewis of course. Twice. The first time, we got Chelf (re-hired after being fired) - the second time, the national search took him all the way to Gwinnett, where he got a middle school principal to take over Lakeside. Then, of course, we all know about the Reed deal behind the scenes - no search at all there, with no apologies to those of us with no say-so and no power who like to see things run as they should.

Anonymous said...

@anon 10:21 - it is that old version (back door) friends and family plan they like to conveniently forget about as long as their needs are being met!!!

Anonymous said...

This is what I have found out from McChesney today via phone and email conversations.

You have to go to the DCSS eboard to get the additional information that they have provided.
Here is the link to the website for tonight's meeting.

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/ViewMeetingOrder.aspx?S=4054&MID=16660

When you go to the webpage, scroll down the left hand side to G-17.
William Bradley Bryant Center Renovation.
Once there go to the bottom of the page to supporting documents and you will see the excel spreadsheet for "WBBC Budget Reallocation".

This is where McChesney stated that the funds were already allocated for a WBBC renovation. Total costs are $10,517,614.
He was adamant about saying that these funds are not new funds be were already allocated to the renovation of WBBC. The board is not using new funds, but old funds.
That's what he said.

He did not understand my concern regarding the following requests for explanations for some of the line item expenditures regarding the proposed costs associated with the project. He just said the costs are normal and "Standard operating costs" with this kind of project.

I could tell that he was not too concerned with the same scrutiny that I seemed to give the project.
I looked at the PDFs that are also on the supporting documents section of the renovation.
Here are a few of my concerns:

First of all the total cost of the project on the PDF is $5,090,870.
He said the cost projections that were given to him were not that high.
Well Don, this is what is published on the website for the public to scrutinize! Shouldn't this be the one that we are all using?
The current proposed increase of $3,500,000 plus the already allocated $1,000,000 would only bring the funding to $4,500,000. Still $590,870 short of what is projected. And they approved this?

Here comes the "Fine tooth comb" line item audit from the 2nd PDF of supporting documents, WBBC Presentation to BFFC. Pay attention as I go through the PDF.

Page 1, August 19th BOE Budget, Finance and Facilities Committee.

The move will include 10 staff members. Let me state this again, a TOTAL of 10 staff members. $5,090,870.

Page 4.
#1 Remove, store and return existing furn & furnishings.
$40,000.
Refer back to here after reading item #12.

#2 Site Work $550,000 for 220 parking spaces with curbs and proper drainage? For 10 employees?

#3 Bldg and Site Concrete $5,000 for concrete curbs in parking lot. Didn't we just allocate $550,000 for parking spots with curbs?

#6 Rough and finish carpentry $50,000. Wood blocking, temporary doors/frames/hardware, countertops and wood trims.
It sounds reasonable.

#8 Doors/Frames/Hardware $31,192.
Doors, frames and hardware? Didn't we just allocate $50,000 for this? Or is temporary carpentry more expensive than the permanent carpentry? The answer was "SOP", standard operating procedure.

#9 Finishes $503,760. Includes drywall partitions, acoustic ceilings, carpet, VCT and rubber base, painting, cleaning and refinishing of Terrazzo walls.

I thought this was the specialty products for the data storage, climate controlled room where the computer servers are kept.
WRONG! This is for the 10 employees! The data storage room is in addition to this $503,760.

Does anyone have acoustic ceilings or carpet in there school except for the library or music room?

End of part 1.

Anonymous said...

Beginninng of part 2.

Here is the fun part.

#10 Specialties $22,000. Like the $503,760 isn't special enough we include an additional $22,000 on window treatments, fire extinguishers and TOILET ACCESSORIES!!!!! What the hell is going on? These fire extinguishers are not for the data servers, that comes later, nor is it part of the fire safety sprinkler system that's been there since 1960, this is again for the 10 employees!!!!
Window treatments and TOILET ACCESSORIES???????? Wait until you see how much they allocated to upgrade the bathrooms!

#11 Appliances $2,500. Doesn't seem like a big number, but this is where parents and taxpayers feel the pain the most.

$2,500 for 1 refrigerator, 1 microwave oven and 1 water cooler for 10 employees. What are they thinking? If they don't already have one at the N. Decatur MIS department that they can bring with them then buy these for less than $600, not $2,500!!!!

#12 Furnishings $125,940. Where do they come up with this number?
41,980 square feet at $3 per square foot? That's where! Remember #1, $40,000 for remove, store and return existing furnishings? Why are we buying new furnishings is we are paying to remove, store and return existing furnishings? Why are we storing and returning existing furnishings if we are buying new furnishings?
For 10 employees?

#13 and #15 are for the actual data storage room. $62,970 each for a raised floor and a cooling unit for climate controls. Even the dry sprinkler for $41,000 if a fire breaks out in the data storage room.
Didn't we allocate $22,000 earlier for fire extinguishers along with toilet accessories?

Speaking of toilet accessories, another item #15 that tried to sneak in.

#15 Plumbing $34,000 for bathroom upgrades. Now there are already 4 bathrooms, 18 toilets, 11 urinals, 14 sinks and 3 wheelchair accessible stalls.
My elementary school is 50 years old this year and we are jumping for joy because we are actually getting new bathroom fixtures for the KIDS for the first time in 50 YEARS!!!! And they have budgeted $34,000 for bathroom upgrades for 10 employees?

That is just the "Fine tooth comb" small items. The rest of the budget is for the "Big Ticket" items that really cost some $$$$.

Just budgeted cost overruns and design and engineering fees are an additional $806,134.
Isn't this an existing building that we are moving to because it fits our needs? Why are they spending $544,978 on design and engineering fees?
That doesn't include the $450,000 in new equipment that is budgeted. What happened to the old equipment that we bought and are currently using at N. Decatur?
One last item that struck me was the $251,880 ($6 x 41,980 sq. ft.) for exterior windows and including demolition of existing.
What do interior square feet have to do with exterior windows? The only room that needs protection is the data storage room and that has NO windows!

What drives me crazy is this whole line item, cost estimate is total nonsense. I work in the finance industry, specifically financing for construction projects. There is not one single bank in America that would approve this type of projected costs. But our school board just did. This is a small construction project compared in scope to the larger projects. What do you think is happening on those projects? I, for one would like to see some ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY! If anyone wants me to look at anymore construction estimates, Cere knows where to find me.
Good night and may we find a solution soon. November 2!

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

Reed is not the most dynamic leader for whom I have worked, but he's certainly not the worst. I'll take him any day over several of the other disastrous DCSS administrative hires I've weathered over the years.

They'll never do a national search for a high school principal in DCSS. A national search costs money and takes a lot of time. Ever-reactive DCSS is perpetually short on both of those commodities.

Cerebration said...

Nice Job Sagamore!

In reading through your report, I was struck as I recalled that Cross Keys did not have enough money in the budget to refinish their very deeply cracked terrazzo floors in their building of 1,000 students + teachers and staff. And this budget appears to be refinishing terrazzo walls - for computers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sagamore 7, Thank you for showing the public that Mc Chesney and the rest of the crew blew our money once again today. It sickens me to think that my tax dollars are being spent in such an unrealistic manner.

There is so much work to do in our schools for our children, but non-school employees get to work in conditions, a school employee could only dream of. We have teachers and children who are constantly sick because of the poor air quality and yet we are spending money in such an unrealistic way on employees that could be better spent in our schools.

Sick, does anyone still want to vote for the current board of ed members up for reelection in Nov?

Anonymous said...

But McChesney isn't up for reelection in November and he is one of the ones most likely to disregard input from the public.

Anonymous said...

They did say that the MIS is going to go out to bid and that the bid very well may come in lower. This was the high end estimate.

Anonymous said...

ANON 11:12 This is a high end estimate.
I am in discussions with the private sector to see what is normal in these circumstances.
I'll keep you all posted.

You are right ANON 11:11, McChesney is not up for re-election until next year. He gets a pass this year. His fear is that SACS comes in and requests the entire board be removed as they did in Clayton County. His greater fear is that SACS does nothing and the incumbents get re-elected. Imagine that! Status quo.
I'm going to sleep.

Sagamore 7

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, the ones that seem to be the most convinced that SACs is going to take action are the ones that have violated SACs policy the least.

Roberts and Woods are out in their little la la land, convinced that all will be ok with SACs.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:48

There are 2 lounges at WBBC - both have microwaves and at least one has a refrigerator.

The bathrooms aren't fancy, but they all work, and they are generally cleaner than those in schools.

Most of the offices were updated 4 to 5 years ago - compliments of a decorator (no kidding - which swatch do you want to pick for your chair?) - wonder if it was Pope/Reid's decorator from D.C.? The offices are nice and functional - the typical cubicles you would find in a corporate office.

I think Ms. Tyson feels that this building needs another update, and this money fell into her lap. She's always felt MIS was like a corporate entity and took pride in making sure the offices looked like a corporate environment.

Personally, I don't think any non-teaching environment should take precedence over the students' environment. Students are not lower level employees on an assembly line who can be crammed into any situation with little regard to their working space. Yet this is the attitude.

Sadly, so many support and admin personnel in DCSS offices think they work for "corporate", not the school system and believe that as upper level employees (i.e. above the classroom and schoolhouse) they deserve to have the best working conditions. That's what you see at work here.

Anonymous said...

-The data center is suddenly "vulnerable" in Building A?? it wasn't in the years it there before, but is now?
Stop with the histrionics.

-"Even lunches would cease if the network is sabotaged or vandalized.
It can't be sabotaged at WBBC? More histrionics.

_Sarah Copelin-Wood, your half-hearted apology is too little, too late. And do your homework one of these days and read the agenda and reports ahead of time.

-"There are about 10 unused facilities in DeKalb, but only two are totally not be used."
DCSS does even know how many properties/facilities it owns! Pat Pope was supposed to make a list public a few years ago. And we'll sit on Heritage longer because the incredibly dismissive and not nearly as smart as he thinks he is Paul Womack thinks Heritage his own personal property.

-"Walker saying we have a top notch staff and we are wrong to say that isn't the right way to spend the money."
Gene Walker also sung the praises on the RICO act indicted Crawford Lewis, and sponsored his Commerce Club membership. Sorry, but your accolades (and judgement) carry no weight, Geno.

-The detailed list by Sagamore 7 shows the $4-5 million for WBBC isn't just for the data storage move, it's for a complete overhaul of WBBC, Ramona Tyson's former building. There are schools falling apart, roof leaks, broken AC, but MIS is going to get theirs now, despite that schools on the years old SPLOST III list are waiting and waiting. Despicable.

$4-5 million being spent like its free money!! And no one from the BOE bats an eye.

I spoke to a BOE member today who was fired up about the blog. He also blew off concerns about spending $4 to 5 mil on WBCC at the drop off a hat. So what there's been little to no explanation from the Central Office. They take every thing this Central Office says as the bible, and that did us well a few months ago when Pat Pope was COO.

Our school system is not ever going to improve with this BOE and the current Central Office administration. Same old, same old.

Dan Magee said...

Whoops, sorry, I wrote that last post, forgot to leave my name.

-The data center is suddenly "vulnerable" in Building A?? it wasn't in the years it there before, but is now?
Stop with the histrionics.

-"Even lunches would cease if the network is sabotaged or vandalized.
It can't be sabotaged at WBBC? More histrionics.

_Sarah Copelin-Wood, your half-hearted apology is too little, too late. And do your homework one of these days and read the agenda and reports ahead of time.

-"There are about 10 unused facilities in DeKalb, but only two are totally not be used."
DCSS does even know how many properties/facilities it owns! Pat Pope was supposed to make a list public a few years ago. And we'll sit on Heritage longer because the incredibly dismissive and not nearly as smart as he thinks he is Paul Womack thinks Heritage his own personal property.

-"Walker saying we have a top notch staff and we are wrong to say that isn't the right way to spend the money."
Gene Walker also sung the praises on the RICO act indicted Crawford Lewis, and sponsored his Commerce Club membership. Sorry, but your accolades (and judgement) carry no weight, Geno.

-The detailed list by Sagamore 7 shows the $4-5 million for WBBC isn't just for the data storage move, it's for a complete overhaul of WBBC, Ramona Tyson's former building. There are schools falling apart, roof leaks, broken AC, but MIS is going to get theirs now, despite that schools on the years old SPLOST III list are waiting and waiting. Despicable.

$4-5 million being spent like its free money!! And no one from the BOE bats an eye.

I spoke to a BOE member today who was fired up about the blog. He also blew off concerns about spending $4 to 5 mil on WBCC at the drop off a hat. So what there's been little to no explanation from the Central Office. They take every thing this Central Office says as the bible, and that did us well a few months ago when Pat Pope was COO.

Our school system is not ever going to improve with this BOE and the current Central Office administration. Same old, same old.

Anonymous said...

Ramona Tyson, Barbara Coleman, the BOE, Central Office, etc. believe we are idiots. They are trying to sell the $5 million for the WBBC as a needed data storage move. That's a damn lie. It's for a complete re-do of the building. MIS staff member Jamal Edwards goes six months not reporting for work while drawing a salary, but he's going to be working in a fancy new facility while a number of schools are in pathetic condition.

And thousands spent on parking at WBBC? There is plenty of parking in the back of the facility, but the staff is too lazy to walk and extra few yards. How freaking insane is it that MIS staff is getting a new parking lot while schools have leaky roofs!!!

Not one member of this BOE cares about how taxpayer funds are spent. There is not one fiscal watchdog on this board. Mo money, mo money for non-teaching staff, mo money for an admin building while school are in horrible condition.

But ask a BOE member about it, and she/he will always say, we have 140 school buildings, blah, blah, blah...

Anonymous said...

Wasn't this a school for kids once? Why not make these improvements, leave the MIS folks where they are and move the kids who are in schools that are falling apart back into this facility. Sounds like it is in better shape than some of our schools.

Parking seemed sufficient for the task force members and parents when we were talking about closing schools to save our budget. I know it is different pots of money, but why are we going through closing schools if we can afford to spend these kinds of funds for 10 people. what will the changes in upkeep be over the years. I feel like I'm in the Twilight zone.

I'd swear that I read on some blog (cannot remember if Dekalb or another county) that teachers were being told they couldn't have a fridge in their classroom to save energy costs. But we can buy a $2500 appliance that will run on our tax dollars for employees? Again, it is not simply this money that will be spent, it is what follows as upkeep as well.

Anonymous said...

It was Gwinnett where they couldn't have fridges.

Emory LaVista is tomorrow. I hope some of you will go and pressure Ramona Tyson on some of these expenditures.

Anonymous said...

Cere (or anyone else): I am concerned that the MTN Industrial move and build out and the WBBC renovations are ultimately using SPLOST 3 dollars. Can someone please point me to the document where any of these administrative office expenditures were on the SLOST 3 list presented to the voters in March 2007? I have read the Nov. 17, 2006 list and I see $29.8M to move the Open Campus, Jim Cherry Center and DECA to Mtn Industrial but nothing about administrative offices.

Anonymous said...

all solid reasons for pay structure to be reversed and for the highest paid folks to be at the schoolhouse (except for maybe the superintendent). Highest paid should be principal and then the teachers --all others should be based off of that and lower. I think they actually work fewer hours in much nicer conditions with much more freedom and control over their time.

Cerebration said...

Below is the text of the brochure given to voters promoting the vote for SPLOST 3 (COPIED & PASTED)

WHAT IS SPLOST ?
Referendum: March 20, 2007
This Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is an opportunity for voters in DeKalb County to continue the onecent sales tax for school improvements. This sales tax extension is limited to 60 months or until an established cap of $645 million has been reached, whichever comes first.

If the continuation of the one cent sales tax is approved by the voters on March 20, 2007, improvements for our kids are funded by everyone who buys goods in the county, regardless of where they live.

With the extension of SPLOST ...

• Over 2,646,000 Square Feet of New Roofing
• Another 201,800 Square Feet of Roofing Repairs
• 2,535,000 Square Feet of School Renovations
• 185 New Technologically Advanced High
School Classrooms
• 183 New Innovative Elementary School Classrooms
• Over 1,206,000 Square Feet of durable Asphalt
Paving
• 7,000 Square Feet of safe Concrete Walkways
• 6 New State of the Art High School Teaching
Auditoriums
• 22 New Advanced Career Technology Instructional
Centers
• 25 HVAC Replacement, Repair, and Upgrade
Projects

OVERVIEW

In order to maintain a healthy and safe learning environment for the students of the DeKalb County School System, a Capital Improvement Plan [CIP] has been developed and approved by the Board of Education.

The CIP outlines the most pressing facility needs.
The CIP is aligned with Board /Superintendent Goals, the Facility Needs Assessment and the Demographic Study. The plan is educationally sound, philosophically based, and fiscally responsible. To that end, the focus of the plan directly addresses the High Schools That Work principles and the commitment to learning environments that are healthy and safe.

The Capital Improvement Plan will touch every facility, school and center in the DeKalb County School System.

The main areas of focus for the CIP are as follows:
􀀵 Retirement of existing COPs* financial debt
􀀵 Completion of deferred SPLOST II work
􀀵 Major Roofing, HVAC, Code & Life Safety Improvements
􀀵 High School Improvements
􀀵 Career Technology, Fine Arts, & Classroom Additions
􀀵 Renovations of Classrooms from floor to ceiling
􀀵 Technology Upgrades to ALL Facilities
􀀵 Transportation Additions of New Buses to replace
Aging Vehicles
*Certificate of Participation

Facilities Affected

􀀵 Technology Improvements & Upgrades will be completed at ALL Schools & Centers
􀀵 Other Specified Projects Elementary Schools
Allgood, Austin, Avondale, Bob Mathis, Briar Vista, Cedar Grove, Chapel Hill, Chesnut, Clifton, Evansdale, Fairington, Fernbank, Flat Shoals, Forrest Hills, Glen Haven, Hambrick, Hawthorne, Henderson Mill, Hightower, Hooper Alexander, Huntley Hills, Idlewood, Indian Creek, Kingsley, Knollwood,
Laurel Ridge, Livsey, McLendon, Meadowview, Midvale, Midway, E.L. Miller, Montgomery, Murphey Candler, Nancy Creek, Oak View, Oakcliff, Pleasantdale, Rainbow, Rockbridge, Sagamore Hills, Sky Haven, Snapfinger, Stone Mill, Stone Mountain, Terry Mill, Vanderlyn, Wadsworth, Woodward
Middle Schools Champion Theme, Henderson, McNair, Miller Grove, Salem, Sequoyah, Stephenson

High Schools
Chamblee, Clarkston, Columbia, Cross Keys, Tech-North, Tech-South, DECA, Druid Hills, DSA, Lakeside, McNair, Open Campus, Redan, Stone Mountain, SW DeKalb, Towers Centers Clarkston, Coralwood Diagnostic, Transition Academy, Doraville Driver Ed, Fernbank Science, Freeman Administrative Building, Heritage, Sam Moss, Warren Tech

􀀵 Large Model Additions
Dunwoody, Lithonia, M.L. King Jr., Miller Grove

􀀵 New Schools
COPs Retirement: Evans Mill ES, Dunwoody/Chamblee Area ES, Rock Chapel Area ES
Tucker High School

Cerebration said...

Notice that Freeman Administrative Building is tucked in under high schools. Also, Ms Colman read something about "technology" as part of SPLOST so I guess that takes care of that.

Wonder what they'll spend the rest on? We'll be keeping an even closer watch.

Anonymous said...

Was Mountain Industrial part of SPLOST II (deferred)?

Anonymous said...

I do recall now, that the previous board defended having Freeman on the list, so it must have been talked about then. I was at a board meeting once when part of the ceiling came down.

Anonymous said...

I love the SPLOST 3 list that includes the Dunwoody/Chamblee Area Elementary School. Everyone knows not one Chamblee child attends the renamed Dunwoody Elementary School.

Let's make sure Zepora and SCW understand this, since they most likely will fight anything built in the Chamblee area. They'll say hey Chamblee got something... riiiiight!

I remember Clew telling the CCHS students and parents at a dinner, back in the spring, not to worry that CCHS will get the SPLOST funds due them. Was he referring to 3 or 4? Anyone remember this speech he gave at the CCHS black tie dinner they had?

Anonymous said...

Good Point. I think a Central Office/Admin salary and expenses cap based on student enrollment numbers makes good sense. Only then will we bring DCSS (Our schools) more in line with other metro area school systems as far as spending per pupil goes.

Cerebration said...

Ok, I've been informed that there have been some accusations made here that have been disputed. Let's try posting the facts (along with our thoughtful opinions) and leave off the personal remarks regarding what we think of others. These are inflammatory and really don't serve the purpose of the blog well.

Anonymous said...

If there is misinformation, it is solely because the DCSS Central office has done a horrible job with informing the public on the WBBC move and every SPLOST project.

Sorry, but DCSS administrators are public officials, and considering their performance over the past few years, they are going to deservedly receive criticism of their performance. Heck the former Supt. and Chief Operating Officer are under indictment!!

And the main post of the ""The TRUE COST of moving the MIS data center" post is that this Central Office time and time again focuses on its own needs over the facility needs of students and teachers.

"OVERVIEW
In order to maintain a healthy and safe learning environment for the students of the DeKalb County School System, a Capital Improvement Plan [CIP] has been developed and approved by the Board of Education.
The CIP outlines the most pressing facility needs.
The CIP is aligned with Board /Superintendent Goals, the Facility Needs Assessment and the Demographic Study. The plan is educationally sound, philosophically based, and fiscally responsible. To that end, the focus of the plan directly addresses the High Schools That Work principles and the commitment to learning environments that are healthy and safe."

The above text was what as presented to the public for SPLOST III. This Central Office administration has done a fine job with improving Central Office facilities, and a very poor job with "learning environments that are healthy and safe", with a few exceptions, like Arabia Mt. High.

Anonymous said...

Cere, I understand your post about keeping it to the facts. There are many folks here who think they have facts, me included, only to discover that the facts we had were not right. Well, if the Central Office could be more TRANSPARENT and FORTHCOMING with information regarding a vote that includes any expenditure then maybe the stakeholders and taxpayers would layoff the personal comments.

We know who the people are at the Central Office who have no business in the positions they are in. I will not name them, but it's most of them!

Cerebration said...

We actually do pretty well with our facts. Often we cite the sources for people to check for themselves as well. I'm just saying, let's stick to the facts and refrain from angry hearsay and opinions of people (even board members) as they are people first and foremost - trying to do a job under great pressure. I am working hard to elect others to the seats up for reelection, but I have made a personal pledge to refrain from publishing my personal thoughts on people in the future. I hope you will all join me in this pledge - it elevates the respect of this blog and it's just the right thing to do.

Feel free to republish emails you receive, bring data, facts, research and ideas! That's what we really are all about here.

Anonymous said...

The powers that be need to be transparent, honest, and open about the decisions that are being made within DCSS. The public is fed up, after RICO indictments and so many schools that are in need of repair, while administrators making way too much money, and doing a poor job, as the number of schools making AYP continue to become less and less each year sit in a palace. These over paid administrators also have knowledge of the how to run the ship that they are in charge of. This goes for our acting superintendent, our head of instruction, and the many friends and family.

Rumors wouldn't swirl around the county like sand storms in the desert, if honest was shown by administration and we felt that we could trust those in charge.

Cerebration said...

Exactly. That's why the work of people like Sagamore 7 is so important. Sagamore dug out the published bid list for this project (read it above in the comments) and worked through the whole thing, highlighting the fact that much of this money will indeed be spent on building and parking lot renovations for the MIS dept - something many of our schools desperately need. They can move this equipment without having to repave the parking lot or paint the halls or fix the terrazzo or buy new furniture.

Anonymous said...

"the fact that much of this money will indeed be spent on building and parking lot renovations for the MIS dept - something many of our schools desperately need. They can move this equipment without having to repave the parking lot or paint the halls or fix the terrazzo or buy new furniture. "

And that's exactly what we need to stress to voters as they go to the polls in November to vote on BOE members.

Anonymous said...

Sagamore 7, great job. You have awakened my inner nit-picker.

1) The official word is that there are 10 unused properties that DCSS owns. How can they say this?

Last year on this blog we did a fairly thorough examination of the properties listed on the tax digest as belonging to DCSS. There were WAY more than 10. They included houses, empty lots, parking lots, commercial property... I realize these are not buildings that can be used for students - so why does DCSS have them? Can DCSS not SELL of some of them?

2) They say there are only two of those ten that are completely empty? What are the other 8 being used for? I know for a fact (got it from my BOE member) that the old Briarcliff HS property is being used for storage - BUT NOT FOR THE SCHOOLS - IT'S BEING RENTED OUT. And yet, we need to pay $40,000 to remove and STORE furnishings from Bldg A?? Why can we not use our own buildings and spend a lot less money?

-no mas

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