As I understand, this is a luncheon sponsored by the Operations Division to both thank those that do business (construction related) with DCSS and make them aware of current and upcoming projects. The meeting was held at Arabia Mountain HS. While there is a ‘naming committee’, I personally believe the name of the school should remain the same, given the designation associated with the area. It could make it easier in the future in requesting private and grant dollars to support the instruction programs.
My recollections include:
-Dr. Angela Pringle, principal for Arabia Mountain, spoke of the success of the community meetings and the bar being set high for success. She is ready to exceed any expectations the district and community has for her and the school.
-Dr. Crawford Lewis shared information about the state of the budget. He indicated 25 million has been cut from the budget thus far and he expects he will need to recommend cuts of at least another 16 million dollars. He indicated due to bad formulas at the state level, DCSS is not getting its equitable share of facility dollars. He is advocating for a change to the formula. I believe I’ve heard rumblings that DCSS will get more however that is not confirmed. Dr. Lewis also recognized Ms. Pat Pope for the job that she has done. He indicated that since she has come on board, change orders have stopped. He indicated it was due to having a construction professional at the helm. Ms. Pope later mentioned there was one change order request however it was due to a scope change. Dr. Lewis is waiting to find out if any stimulus dollars will be available for school renovations.
-IMO, the highlight of the luncheon was hearing from NASA astronaut and Henderson High School graduate Eric Boe. I found out that Henderson High School is the only High school in America that has had 2 shuttle astronauts. Eric matriculated though Evansdale to Henderson and was very complimentary about the education he received in DeKalb. He reiterated a point made by Dr. Lewis that everything starts with education. Mr. Boe presented a flag to the school system that was flown on the shuttle mission he participated in.
-Ms. Pope gave her State of the CIP update. I know I will forget a few things but she indicated her PPT will be on the website in a few days. Points she mentioned include:
• Tax revenues for SPLOST 3 are 23% ahead of projections.
• Factoring in the $300 million dollar bond and $128 million dollars of tax receipts thus far, they have been able to make great progress.
• The Mountain Industrial Facility will consist of over 275,000 square feet and will be home to seven programs, including the administrative offices.
• 100% of the projects have been under budget.
• 98% of the projects have been on time (Note: Arabia Mountain was 1 year ahead of schedule and under budget).
• There are currently no delays and no claims with current projects.
• Currently involved in a mid program assessment. Some projects in the current plan may not be done (perhaps Lithonia expansion?). Based on a combination of factors (projects finishing earlier, recommending some projects be cancelled), it is expected that an additional $32 million dollars can be allocated to other projects.
• LEED standards will be a part of every project going forward (This one is for you O&T).
• Custodial staff has been trained in use of green products. All cleaning products going forward will meet green standards.
• Pilot Green campaign has exceeded expectations thus far. Plan to roll it out to all schools in August 2009.
I did find out that the new Tucker HS will have a design similar to Arabia Mountain. That community REALLY has something to look forward to.
Alright DeKalbSchoolWatch bloggers, have at it!