Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 is planning on spending nearly three quarters of the $8.9 million state capital development grant the district received on capital projects in the upcoming fiscal year or shortly thereafter.
A tentative budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year presented to the District 208 school board at its June 10 meeting called for transferring approximately $6.5 million from the district’s working cash fund to its capital projects fund.
The $6.5 million would be spent on a new parking lot, new tennis courts, a new track inside the football stadium, replacement of sections of the roof at the high school and other work, including the construction of the bicycle path along First Avenue.
Some of that work will likely run into the next fiscal year.
“That was some preliminary budget numbers that the architect provided us to complete the renovation of the facilities west of Golf Road as well as some sections of roof,” said District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis. “I don’t anticipate all that being spent in fiscal year 2015.”
The proposal to build a new parking lot just north of Hollywood School has generated intense and vocal opposition from residents of the Hollywood neighborhood. Some parents of RB tennis players have also expressed opposition to plans to move the school’s tennis courts off campus to North Riverside.
District 208 received $8.9 million from the state earlier this year as part of a grant application first made more than 10 years ago.
Excluding the capital projects the tentative budget presented June 10 projects a small operating surplus of about $54,000.
“Right now it’s projected that we’ll be operating on balanced budget with a slight reserve, which is very positive,” Skinkis said.
The budget forecasts collecting total operating revenue of $21,853,920, of which $20,145.220 will come from local property taxes.
Taxpayers will get a small break on their taxes, because the district has paid off the working cash bonds issued in 2008. Real estate taxes collected for the debt service fund will be reduced by $938,000.
Certified staff for next year will increase by 4.5 full-time equivalent positions. The administrative staff will increase by one as Neil Dughetti has been made a full-time dean after splitting his time between administrative work and teaching the past couple of years.
Non-certified staff will receive raises of 1.7 percent as called for in the new contract approved in December.
Special education expenditures are scheduled to more than double, from $400,000 to $989,000, because some new students will have to placed out of district in special schools.
A few new coaching positions have been added in boys and girls basketball, boys and girls track, football and softball.
Textbook expenditures will increase to $94,000 from $30,000 due to new textbooks being adopted in math, English, social sciences and world languages. Testing expenditures will increase by $40,000 due to a new consulting contract related to teacher evaluations.
The tentative budget also calls for an additional $4,000 to be spent on crossing guards as the result of a new agreement with the village of Riverside.
The final budget is expected to be approved at the school board’s September meeting. It must be placed on public display for 30 days before it is approved.