Preliminary capital requests for the schools

At the Southborough School Committee meeting earlier this month, Superintendent Charles Gobron presented a preliminary version of the operating budget for fiscal year 2010. Totaling $16.4 million, the budget does not include capital requests like computer equipment and major maintenance projects. While a final version of capital requests won’t be available until next month, Gobron and Director of Technology Jean Tower shared some preliminary figures.

Bare bones technology purchases
Tower said she looked at replacing all equipment older than five years, but the $285K price tag was too steep. At a pared down $140K, her preliminary request includes fewer desktop and laptop replacements, and infrastructure purchases were cut as much as possible. The technology capital requests also include $65K to finish out a 3-year equipment lease.

Each school would receive approximately $30K in new equipment, except for Trottier which would get $47K. The difference is due in part to the purchase of two new servers to replace and balance the load of a single older one.

Tower noted that the technology plan does not include funding for new instructional technologies. “In my point of view we’re barely treading water. Nothing is moving us forward at all,” she said.

Capital projects
Also in the capital plan are a number of maintenance and repair projects. Gobron explained the capital projects were prioritized into three tiers and only the “A” projects will be considered for the budget. Examples of top-tier projects include roof and library repairs for Trottier, parking lot repairs and a sidewalk extension for Neary, heat for the kitchen in Woodward, and sidewalk and plumbing repairs for Finn.

The total amount for all identified capital projects is $178K, but only a subset will be recommended in Gobron’s final budget to be presented next month.

Related story:
School committee gets a peek at FY 2010 budget

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