An estimated $400,000 restoration of the Farm Road-side parking lot at South School and masonry repairs at Saxe Middle School rank as major items driving Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi’s $2.8 million proposed capital spending plan for next year.
The figure would roughly triple what had been approved in capital spending for New Canaan Public Schools last budget season, though that number does not include the $18.6 million renovation and expansion at the middle school.
Presented at the Board of Education meeting Monday night together with Luizzi’s recommended $88.5 million operating budget, the capital spending proposal places into future years some projects that originally had been slated for next fiscal year.
For example, an estimated $2.3 million replacement of the 20-year-old roof of South School now is slated for fiscal year 2020, under the district’s fluid 5-year capital plan, the superintendent said.
“We will certainly keep a close eye on [the roof] and if something goes very wrong, then we would have to accelerate it, but after taking a good hard look, [Manager of Facilities Operations] Bob [Willoughby] was comfortable deferring that now,” Luizzi said.
By the same token, other capital needs as time passes have been determined to be more urgent, so they’re now priorities next fiscal year—for example, a domestic hot water boiler at South School (a project that’s been quoted at $25,000, about half of what originally was expected, Luizzi said).
“If the boiler goes down and we do not have hot water in the school, we don’t have kids in the school,” he said.
The district also is seeking to replace four of the oldest and most-used motor vehicles used for Special Education transportation, Luizzi said (a $184,000 expenditure), and to continue with a four-year lease for technology in the district. Under that lease, which is not for the equipment itself but to finance to the money for an ongoing investment in technology, the district maintains $600,000 in purchasing power, Luizzi said.
Other capital spending needs include an estimated $50,000 in classroom painting at each school.