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Tue, Nov. 19

KUSD moves forward on bond projects

Kingman Unified School District Governing Board members converse Tuesday night during a short recess at their monthly meeting. From left are Bill Goodale, Terri McMullen, Margaret McBee, Pat Carlin Jr. and Charles Lucero. Photo: TERRY ORGAN/Miner

Kingman Unified School District Governing Board members converse Tuesday night during a short recess at their monthly meeting. From left are Bill Goodale, Terri McMullen, Margaret McBee, Pat Carlin Jr. and Charles Lucero. Photo: TERRY ORGAN/Miner

KINGMAN - Members of the Kingman Unified School District Governing Board gave administrators the OK during Tuesday night's monthly meeting to move forward in hiring a project manager for construction services related to the $80 million bond voters approved last November.

Superintendent Maurice Flores told the board he is looking at six architects to design and several construction companies to build nine priority projects identified that are expected to cost roughly $20 million.

"We'll know how much money is needed once that construction manager is on board," he said.

Terry Jacks, human resources director, said project consultants have told him two resolutions would be needed.

One gives administrators authorization to put out a Request for Proposals. A committee then would form and draw up a top-5 ranking of individuals or firms.

The second resolution would give administrators permission to negotiate a contract in order of listing.

Board members approved the request, along with one allowing Flores to issue a multi-term contract with a project manager.

Members also reviewed the priority list of construction projects. Discussion centered on when bonds could be sold, money received from the sales and what happens while funds sit in accounts.

Terry White, director of finance, told board members they need to be aware of "negative arbitrage" if projects are not underway soon once funds become available.

The district could have a lot of capital sitting in bank accounts drawing 1-1.5 percent interest.

"If we have a lot of projects not ready to go, the difference between interest paid and earned could be around $300,000, and that's a significant amount of money," White said.

Board President Pat Carlin Jr. said a bonding company representative told him it could be into early May before projects begin.

"We must have the construction manager on board and review the number of projects that could be handled at one time," Carlin said.

Flores said contractors can't bid on projects until specifics on them are made known and funds available, hence it's "a two-way sword."

There likely would be at least a one month time lag between the time a project manager is hired and projects go out for bid, Jacks added. In addition, 4-6 weeks is expected to pass between the time bonds are offered for sale and money for them is received.

Construction of a central kitchen and warehouse is identified as the first priority project, followed by upgrades to transportation and maintenance facilities at the district bus yard.

New roofing at Black Mountain, Cerbat, Kingman High, Kingman Middle and La Senita schools is ranked No. 3 on the list. Heating and air conditioning replacement for those five schools, plus Manzanita, Palo Christi and Mt. Tipton in Dolan Springs, and the district office is No. 4 on the to-do list.

Asphalt and concrete repair or replacement, plumbing to include sinks, restrooms and drinking fountains, and added security in the form of doors, locks, fencing and communications at school are listed as Nos. 5-7, respectively.

No. 8 is reconfiguration of White Cliffs Middle School to include repair or total replacement of four buildings on the campus.

Construction of specialized classrooms, a new cafeteria addition and library addition at Mt. Tipton School is the No. 9 priority project.

In another business matter, members approved beginning a pre-school program at Mt. Tipton School after learning there are 37 applicants for one, including 20 4-year-olds.

Members Charles Lucero and Terri McMullen will work with a committee of parents in the community to explore where to put the program and work out other details.

Flores said a room currently used by third-graders could be made available at the start of the next school year. The room has a bathroom and toilet.

Member Bill Goodale asked how the program would be funded.

Funding would come through Title I money and if there are students with severe handicaps, the state would add extra money, White said.

Assistant Superintendent Betsy Parker cautioned the program would not be fully covered under Title I and the district would have to contribute some maintenance and operations money to cover the difference.

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