City BOE reviews CIP plan of $13.43 million over six years

Rick Wagner • Jun 16, 2016 at 6:03 AM

KINGSPORT — Some million dollar projects and one worth multi-millions are on the horizon of the Kingsport City Schools Capital Improvement Projects, with D-B EXCEL, replacement of artificial turf at J. Fred Johnson Stadium and roofs the most expensive projects.

Kingsport City Schools Chief Financial Officer David Frye gave the Board of Education an update on the CIP plan during the June 2 school board meeting. The updated numbers are not set in stone but are a guide and a look to what capital projects KCS will pursue, assuming funding is available and emergency repairs do not result in a switch of priorities.

Absent from the list is the proposed regional science and technology center at Dobyns-Bennett High School, a 400-student facility that is part of a facilities studies plan for Kingsport, Sullivan County and Bristol, Tenn., proposed to be funded countywide by the Sullivan County Commission and shared among the three systems based on share of students countywide.

The largest single item on the list for 2017-18 and over the entire six years is $3.9 million for D-B EXCEL, which stands for Excellence in a Creative Environment for Learning. It is is a blended and virtual learning high school moving from Cora Cox Academy to part of the Press Building next to the Administrative Support Center. Frye said that of the total, $1.7 million would be used to buy the Press Building space outright that fiscal year after one year of a lease-to-own contract, with the remaining money to be used for a third-story expansion if warranted by D-B EXCEL growth. The alternative school for students with disciplinary issues will remain at Cora Cox.

Other big-ticket items for 2017-18 include $1 million each for replacement of the J. Fred Johnson turf and Robinson Middle School roof replacement. The turf was installed after conversion from a sod field in 2008. Frye said the original cost of the turf and its installation alone was $750,000, but he put the amount at $1 million to allow for inflation. Work on drainage and to remove a cap from the field will not have to be redone, he said.

The stadium at D-B, also used for community events, in 2013-14 underwent upgrades and enlargement of more than $4.5 million, including the addition of approximately 1,000 seats to the grandstand, a new two-story press box, new restrooms, new safety railings and other improvements. That money is not included in the 2014-15 through 2019-20 six-year period. Reserved seating and money-generating off-season uses for the facility are supposed to help offset the cost over time.

Other 2017-18 projects listed are $500,000 for Johnson Elementary HVAC replacement to be followed by the same amount in 2018-19; $250,000 for boiler replacement at Johnson Elementary; $200,000 for Overlook Road improvements next to Jefferson Elementary; $150,000 for cooling tower replacement at Jefferson Elementary, $100,000 for Park Street property purchases, to be followed by $100,000 in 2018-19 and $100,000 in 2019-20; and $150,000 for D-B track resurfacing.

For 2018-19, the list includes $600,000 for D-B carpet replacement; $500,000 for HVAC replacement at Lincoln; $500,000 to enclose the career technical education walkway at D-B; $300,000 for a Lincoln elevator; $250,000 for D-B cooling tower replacement; $150,000 for D-B carpet replacement; $150,000 for a D-B band storage facility; $100,000 for renovation of the former band and JROTC space; and the ones going over multiple years.

For 2019-20, projects are $500,000 for Lincoln HVAC replacement; $300,000 for Palmer Center roof replacement; and projects going over multiple years.

All told, including 2014-15 projects still underway, the total projects would be $13.43 million, with $1.170 million in 2014-15; $350,000 in 2015-16; $750,000 in 2016-17; $7.25 million in 2018-19 and $900,0000 in 2019-20.

All funding would come from general obligation bonds except for $20,000 toward 2014-15 projects, which are $300,000 for D-B/Indian Highland Park parking likely to be done next summer, $120,000 for Robinson carpet replacement, $150,000 for a Lincoln Elementary cooling tower and $600,000 for Sevier Middle roof replacement. The 2015-16 projects are $150,000 in Robinson carpet replacement and $200,000 in Lincoln roof replacement.

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