As a result of a review done by district administrators working collaboratively with community committees, District 113 has earmarked an increase in funding for maintenance and repair projects. Budgeting more than 3 million dollars, the District will prioritize and complete projects listed on the 10-year capital expenditure plan.
According to Superintendent George Fornero, “As we study our facilities very thoroughly to develop a long range facility master plan, spending dollars now on building maintenance needs has emerged as a consensus priority. I am recommending to the Board of Education that we utilize both budgeted dollars and some reserve funds to complete projects deemed significant.”
Six study groups, comprised of more than 100 volunteers, have been analyzing key aspects of District 113’s facility-technology plan for the past several months.
Barry Bolek, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, leads two of those community committees—Financing and Building Systems. He noted that members of the community on his committees agree that there are repair projects that should be completed regardless of the outcome of a long-range plan. This sentiment was echoed by the 1914 Buildings/PE/Athletics/Pool subcommittee, chaired by Fornero.
Bolek explained that careful financial planning and budgetary discipline have positioned the district well to invest in one-time capital projects and to correct emerging maintenance issues. “Working with the building facility managers, we are reviewing our list of projects that range from smaller expenditures such as stair treads to much larger capital projects such as continuing to implement phases of our roof replacement schedule. We will present those projects to the Board for approval of funding and intend to address issues that have been cited,” Bolek stated.
Utilizing budgeted funds and some reserve dollars will finance building repairs. The District will ensure that sufficient cash reserves remain in place to retain its AAA rating. The finance committee, comprised of many community volunteers with experience in fields such as banking and investing, worked with PMA, the District’s financial advisors.
PMA Financial representatives noted it is crucial to manage fund balances carefully in order to retain favorable credit ratings and to successfully buffer cash flow. PMA communicated to committee members that District 113 has a tremendous record of financial stability because of their strategic planning. The District has earned financial awards from both state and national organizations based upon their financial stability and transparency.
District officials and committee members agree that it is sound business practice to apply one time revenues, in this case, budget savings, to costs incurred by one time expenditures.