DACC could add budget vote to Thursday meeting


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com



The Delaware Area Career Center Board of Education will meet Thursday night and hopes to discuss a budget for the upcoming campus consolidation.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the DACC South Campus on U.S. 23.

Officials from the school said Tuesday that the board hopes to discuss and vote on a budget and timeline for the consolidation at the meeting Thursday, but they first wanted to make sure that all the members of the board have a chance to thoroughly read over the budget.

The item was not on the agenda Tuesday afternoon but officials said it could be added as an addendum before the meeting.

At the meeting, the board will also consider approving staffing changes, approve its December 2015 financial report, and approve the purchase of new text books for a geometry class.

The board had originally planned on voting on a budget for the consolidation project at its last regular meeting on Dec. 17 — after learning on Dec. 9 that the consolidation project would cost more than $10 million more than planned.

However, DACC Superintendent Mary Beth Freeman said the board postponed the vote to Thursday’s meeting to allow time for additional time for review. Freeman said the issue was “very complex” and said the board wanted time to complete the contract and review it before voting.

The board held a special meeting on Dec. 9 to hear a presentation from its architect firm, SHP Leading Designs, and the contractor for the consolidation project, Elford Construction. During the presentation, architects said that the previously discussed square footage of the consolidated campus, 184,000, would not be enough to account for student growth and improvements.

Architects said that because some labs would need to be expanded, the consolidated campus would need to be about 224,988 square feet to account for growing programs and increased enrollment.

Representatives from Elford Construction estimated the consolidation would cost $43,962,440, with a total price of $46,939,524 to account for additional construction projects and contingencies.

DACC officials previously believed the consolidation project would cost about $35 million.

DACC Treasurer Christopher Bell noted that the school has saved up $37 million to pay for the consolidation through fiscal discipline and good business practices, and told the board it would be possible to get a loan for the additional cost of the consolidation. The board did not discuss any type of tax issue for the additional construction costs.

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.