Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

School Board approves 2019-20 budget, says no to Berthoud pool

By: Dan Karpiel | The Surveyor | June 28, 2019 | Education

In what marked the final meeting of Thompson School District (TSD) Board of Education (BOE) until Aug. 1, the primary action at the most recent meeting on June 19 was the approval of the 2019-20 school year budget.

As was expected, the BOE voted against using $4.5 million from the bond premium from a partnership with the Town of Berthoud to construct a competition-level, indoor pool at the proposed recreation center at Waggener Farm Park. When the bonds approved by voters in Ballot 5B were initially sold, the underwriter was able to sell them at a premium, which brought in an additional $34.8 million above the $149 million that was approved. The BOE had earlier voted to spend $10.8 million of the premium for the refurbishment of Loveland’s Stansberry and Van Buren Elementary schools to repurpose the facilities as an early childhood and career and technical education centers, respectively.

In May, Berthoud Board of Trustees approached the district and pitched the idea of using $4.5 million from the premium for the pool. After hearing from the trustees as well as from Berthoud High School students and parents who supported partnering to build the pool, the BOE instead voted to use the funding for a list of additional maintenance and other needs district-wide. The vote was a unanimous 6-0 decision, with Barbara Kruse not present for the meeting.

The final list of projects and their associated costs are; $10 million for other maintenance needs and projects, $5.5 million to go into a contingency fund for possible cost overruns in scheduled maintenance and repair projects, $4.9 million to replace outdated furniture in 850 classrooms across the district, $1.2 million to install security vestibules in the district’s four high schools, $900,000 for repairs and improvements at Loveland’s Ray Patterson Field, $822,000 to cover the costs of issuing the bonds and $475,000 for lighting at sports fields.

In May the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation to fund full-day kindergarten throughout the state; the TSD’s budget, approved Wednesday, reflects the costs of full-day kindergarten. Parents do retain the option of sending their children for half-day, but full day-will be available beginning this fall. The 2019-20 budget includes an increase in per-pupil funding of $312, or 4.5 percent, to $8,028. Total revenue for the 2019-20 school year totals $166,867,065 – an increase of $11,679,565 from the 2018-19 school year amended budget.

The board also approved the amendment to Superintendent Dr. Bill Schaffer’s contract, which included adding an additional year and providing a pay increase of 4.5 percent. According to BOE member Davy Levy, Schaffer’s contract called for his annual compensation to be adjusted by the same rate as the district’s teachers, which this year increased by 10.5 percent as a result of passage of Ballot Issue 5A, the Mill-Levy Override, yet Schaffer requested his raise total only the previously agreed to 4.5 percent.

Also at the meeting, Schaffer offered congratulations to the 1,010 high school students who graduated from the district’s schools in late May and discussed how he spoke at the Loveland Business Partnership Group on June 13 to explain how local businesses can become involved with the programs offered at the new Career and Technical Education facility.

The BOE will take the month of July off for summer recess before returning to normal business on Aug. 1.

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