Sabine ISD’s budget for the 2019-2020 school year will include funds earmarked for a variety of capital improvement projects.
Projects include building repairs and upkeep, facility upgrades and the completion of in-progress projects.
At a budget-focused school board meeting held Friday, June 28, SISD Director of Business Operations Kevin Yandell gave trustees information about the campus improvement expenses.
“The capital improvements budget, we didn’t start out with any last year. This year, that includes re-roofing part of the high school. It includes $60,000 for refurbishing the bathrooms on the home side of the football field. (It includes) $30,000 for the demolition of the swimming pool and $35,000 for the remainder of the cost of the softball batting cages,” Yandell said.
The capital improvements budget, listed at $249,000 in the recommended budget approved at the meeting, also includes funds slated for re-surfacing work in Sabine High School’s parking lot.
The parking lot project will involve improving the parking surface as well as the general appearance of the lot and the area surrounding it.
SISD board members have discussed repairing or removing the pool for some time, including an in-depth discussion in February of this year. At that time, some trustees voiced support for maintaining the pool as a beloved community facility while others contended spending more than $100,000 on repairs was an expense that would outweigh any benefits derived from community use of the pool, especially when that money could be put towards other district needs.
Now, the pool is being removed as trustees focus on repairing and improving other structures and facilities.
At the meeting, board president Tony Raymond questioned a figure on the budget: a 65.99 percent decrease in Community Involvement funds on the recommended budget.
“That is because we will no longer have any expenses for a swimming pool,” Yandell said. “No payroll expenses and no supply expenses for the pool.”
2019 has been a year of progress on facilities for SISD. Work continued this spring on the district’s new softball field, which was first discussed in 2017. Originally slated for a January completion date, progress on the field was slowed by this spring’s unseasonably heavy rains.
The extra facilities expenditures are part of a budget which includes over $2 million more in revenue than the budget for 2018-2019. In addition to more revenue and appropriations, the SISD budget for the upcoming school year also includes over $400,000 in profits, the first time the district has had such a budget in several years.
The profits are due in part to additional funding from the state, which was made possible by the recent passage of House Bill 3, a measure which boosts per-student allotments to schools while cutting property taxes statewide.