Superintendent Mike Struna told the board about recent emergency spending the school had to face in order to fix the boiler and hot water heaters.
“Saturday, one of the boilers was down,” Struna said. It was due to a pump going out.
The school was operating on one boiler until it went out on Sunday. A new pump was ordered and put in Tuesday. Struna said the system was restarted, and a motor burned out. It was ordered and put in Wednesday morning.
“Now we have heat,” said Struna.
Also on Saturday, a 100-gallon water heater was leaking, Struna said. The school was running on one water heater until that went out on Tuesday. Struna said both heaters were replaced for $7,000 each, and the total cost of repairs was between $20,000 and $30,000.
Struna asked the board to approve an application to dip into its Health, Life Safety Fund to pay for the repairs.
“It’s not going to come out of operational funds,” Struna said and added he had contacted the state which approved of the work.
The board unanimously passed the motion.
Struna also showed the board figures from the declining state funding over the past three years. Currently, the school is only receiving 89 percent of the state funding it should be collecting. Struna said the school has lost almost a half million dollars in funding over the past three years and compensated for that three years ago by cutting four teachers, one guidance councilor, three teachers’ aides and one secretary. The school also raised fees for certain classes like driver’s education and cut the amount of textbooks purchased.
“We did the right thing,” Struna said because it saved them a half a million dollars these past three years, bringing the district even with what was lost.
However, the current governor’s budget plans to reduce state aid another 9 percent.
“I don’t know where else we can cut,” Struna said and asked the board members to think about what the school should do to save money.