BOE transfers funds to complete STMS renovation
STEVENSVILLE — Members of the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education sat before the county commissioners during the Tuesday, Sept. 13, meeting and requested permission to transfer capital money to the Stevensville Middle School renovation project from a finished project with remaining funds. The commission approved the capital projects transfer, 4-0. Commissioner Steve Wilson was absent.
Queen Anne’s County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Gregory Pilewski said the middle school renovation project, which began in 2014, is in the final phase of completing site work, but various bids have come in higher than anticipated.
Robin Langraf, chief finance officer for the school system, told the commission that of the $23.8 million in the budget for the school renovation, the board of education has spent about $22.7 million. Langraf said including outstanding purchase orders and project retainage, of which the board is holding more than $1 million from the contractor, the project has reached its budgeted capacity with four items still needed to be funded.
The four items include a basketball court, crawl space, gymnasium equipment and additional drainage. Langraf said those items are estimated to cost about $83,000, $21,000 more than budgeted.
She suggested the commissioners transfer funds originally allocated for the disconnection of the portable unit used during the school’s renovation. Only $45,000 of $100,000 allocated was spent disconnecting the unit.
“We’re asking for that [money] to be moved to Stevensville Middle School to finish up these last items and hopefully get this project completed and off the book,” Langraf said.
“Big Blue,” the nickname of the modular unit used by the middle school students during renovation, was originally donated to the county from a school in Baltimore. The only costs for the unit dealt with physically moving the modular as well as costs getting it hooked up. The board sold the portable unit to Wicomico County for $52,000.
The board will have about $32,000 left in the account in case of emergency needs.
Langraf said the renovation was originally budgeted for about $20 million — $12 million from the county and $8 million from the state — but due to “add alternates,” which the commission allocated more funds for, the overall price grew. Money was moved from various other projects along the way.
“I certainly encourage all of you to visit that facility. It’s been a great facility not only for the students but for the community as well,” Pilewski said. “I was there on the first day of school to welcome students and rode the bus in with them. So, they’re very excited about this facility, and we’re excited about this school year.”
Queen Anne’s County Public Schools’ Interim Superintendent Gregory Pilewski, Chief Finance Officer Robin Langraf and facilities planner Carla Viar Pullen ask the county commissioners Sept. 13 to transfer funds in order to complete the Stevensville Middle School renovation project.