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Decatur School Board to discuss facilities and maintenance needs

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Decatur School Board to discuss facilities and maintenance needs

Elizabeth Wilson School Support Center, City Schools of Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The City Schools of Decatur School Board will meet on Tuesday, March 12, at 5 p.m. for a regular meeting. The meeting will be held in person at the Wilson School Support Center, 125 Electric Ave., and virtually via Zoom.

During the work session, Chief Operating Officer Sergio Perez will present the state of operations report to looks at the district’s facilities and maintenance needs.

“It emphasizes the crucial role of the Operations Division in maintaining the district’s functionality and normal operations,” the agenda packet states. “Despite facing challenges such as rising material and energy costs, extended lead times for equipment, and increased vendor labor costs, the division ensures smooth operations in areas like lighting, HVAC, utilities, meals, transportation, medical services, and safety and security.”

Here is the meeting schedule for March 12:

Executive Session: 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Prework Session: 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Work Session: 2:30 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.

Board Meeting: 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Public Comment: 6:30 p.m. – 6:50 p.m.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions:

To view the meeting agendas, click here.

To join the meetings via Zoom, click here. To join by phone, dial+1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592. The webinar ID is 956 1415 9391.

The CSDBoE welcomes and encourages citizens to attend its meetings. The board offers an opportunity for City of Decatur residents, businesses, organizations, school system employees, or students to address the board at its regular business meeting(s). To allow time for the Board’s other business, Public Comment will ordinarily be limited to one hour or 20 speakers. At the Board’s discretion, the comment period may be extended for a specified amount of time or a specific number of additional speakers.

In-person attendees can register upon arrival by scanning a QR Code on the Board Room entrance. Commenters will use a no-touch microphone. Guest attending via Zoom and wishing to make public comment must complete the public comment form. Anyone wishing to address the Board must be signed up prior to the start of public comment. Please ensure the name you enter on the form matches the name you use(d) to sign-up. If the names do not match, it will not be possible for you to be recognized to participate in public comment. To sign up for public comment, click here.

“The report discusses the life cycle of assets, highlighting the continuous process from creation to use, maintenance, and disposal,” the agenda says. “It notes that the average age of [the] buildings is 78.3 years and focuses on addressing aging HVAC equipment to prevent disruptions in heating or cooling.”

According to the presentation, Decatur High School needs several improvements, most notably to the HVAC system. The high school was evacuated three times in January and February due to malfunctions in the HVAC system and a strong gas smell. In January, Fire Chief Toni Washington said the odor came from an overheated belt in the HVAC system.

The presentation also includes a discussion of future projects, including the track and field at Legacy Park, potential plans for a new early childhood learning center at the corner of West Trinity Place and Electric Avenue, and converting two CSD-owned homes into a duplex and triplex.

“The report also mentions progress on duplexes, with the program management team working on conceptual design options, budgeting, and permit applications,” the agenda packet says. “Once this process is complete, the options and next steps will be presented to the Board.”

In other business:

– The school board will discuss the 2025 budget during the regular meeting. The school board will also discuss the city of Decatur’s role in distributing tax receipts to CSD with City Manager Andrea Arnold.

The FY 2025 budget anticipates receiving $98 million in revenue and spending upwards of $102 million to $105 million in the general fund. The preliminary budget does not yet account for an increase in revenue.

“As we process through budget season and the governor solidifies the state budget and the tax assessor provides a projection on the tax digest growth, revenue will be updated to reflect the changes,” Chief Financial Officer Dr. Lonita Broome said.

The board seeks to increase teacher and staff pay in the next fiscal year. During a previous work session, Chief of Human Resources Adena Walker presented a salary and benefits analysis and several options.

Board members have favored an option to increase the entry-level salary to $55,200 while working toward increasing it to $57,000. There would also be a 5-8% salary increase for existing teachers and a 5% salary increase for non-teaching positions.

If City Schools of Decatur pursues this option, the total expenditures for FY 2025 would be about $102 million.

Another option presented, option No. 7, aims to increase the entry-level salary for teachers to $57,000. This would be a 5-15% salary increase for teachers and a 5% salary increase for non-teaching positions. This option would bring the FY 2025 expenditures to about $105 million.

– During the pre-work session, the school board will continue discussing the district’s nutrition policy.

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