KING WILLIAM — The King William County School System wants to spend $1.3 million on a new air conditioning system at Cool Spring Elementary School, after the system failed on the first night of school.
On September 20, the school board supported Finance Director Staci Longest’s request for a budget amendment to advance funding for the project by one year.
In the meantime, “the operations manager along with others worked through the night to get us up and running with some window units,” Longest said.
Longest said the school board wanted to move forward with the cheapest offer of $1.3 million through Southern Air. The same company is working on an HVAC system at Acquinton Elementary School.
Earlier this year, the King William County Board of Supervisors authorized the issuance of a school bond of up to $7.2 million to fund improvements to county schools, including new HVAC systems and replacement of a track at King William High School. The bond program will allow the county to replace HVAC units at Acquinton Elementary, Cool Spring Primary, King William High School and Hamilton-Holmes Middle School.
Longest said the county should lock in the price due to the possibility of supply cost increases. She hopes the project can be completed during spring break so that the system can be installed before the summer of 2023.
“It would not interrupt classes in any way, shape or form,” Longest said.
Board member Terry Stone pointed out that the budget amendment request would have to be made to the King William Board of Supervisors.
“The bond proceeds are available and ready to be drawn. We just need to increase that by one year in our capital budget and ask the supervisory board to do the same,” he said. she stated.
The school board also supported giving a bonus of $1,000 to full-time employees and $500 to part-time employees to help with staff retention. Longest said the Virginia governor’s June 17 executive amendment approved bonus funding for school divisions to be paid by Dec. 1. King William will receive just over $213,000.
“We wish we could give that in the November paycheck,” Longest said.
Stone said she was supportive of the idea given the shortage of teachers and difficulties in filling positions. The longest bonuses are awarded by Virginia school districts through the state program.
The school board also learned that King William’s school nutrition program received $37,576 in additional funding from the Department of Education to mitigate supply chain disruptions in the school meals program. The funds must be used to purchase “unprocessed or minimally processed foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese, fruits, vegetables, meat and grain products from Buy American suppliers.”
Funding is based on student registration and will be distributed on October 14.
David Macaulay, [email protected]