Commissioners approve multiple education fund transfers
CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners approved a series of requests from the Board of Education during its Tuesday, Jan. 10, meeting involving the transfer of operating funds to its capital budget for multiple upgrades and repairs.
The fund transfer was approved by a 3-0 vote, with Commissioner Robert Buckey abstaining. Buckey said he thought the money should not be allocated until the county’s budget discussions.
Due to a surplus of funds from employee attrition and “an extremely good year as far as fuel costs go,” Robin Landgraf, chief financial officer for the Board of Education, said, the board sought approval to transfer the funds for a list of projects.
Though the board had leftover money, it is not authorized to transfer and spend those funds without approval from the County Commissioners.
The list of repairs and individual costs, which in total cost $104,600, are as follows: sidewalk repairs at Bayside Elementary School, Centreville Middle School, Sudlersville Elementary School and Sudlersville Middle School, $12,000; flooring repairs at Matapeake Elementary School, Kent Island High School and the Board of Education Office, $36,800; stadium repairs at both Queen Anne’s County and Kent Island high schools, $33,500; AV equipment replacements at Matapeake Middle School, $10,000; interior painting at the Board of Education Office, $8,000; and blind installations at Centreville Middle School, $4,300.
Landgraf said some of the repairs were necessary because of hazards produced, such as tripping from current sidewalk conditions.
Commissioner Jim Moran said he would rather not give the board capital money out of county funds when it had money available and said it made sense to approve the fund transfer.
The commissioners also approved by a unanimous vote the approval of two security upgrades to take place at Sudlersville and Church Hill elementary schools. The upgrades, which will cost an estimated $203,803, will also make Americans with Disabilities Act improvements, Board of Education Facilities Planner Carla Viar Pullen said.
Both elementary schools currently do not have interior locking doors, “that means as soon as you gain access to the vestibule you’re able to enter into the non-locking doors,” Viar Pullen said. She said the Board of Education’s intent is to “punch a hole in the wall” from the entr y chamber into the main office so people attempting to gain access to the building, after initially being admitted, have to go into the main office or be buzzed in a second time.
Of the eight Queen Anne’s County public elementary schools, Sudlersville and Church Hill are the only two that do not have the vestibule upgrades, Viar Pullen said. The security and ADA upgrades were identified in the board’s facilities assessment.
The money for both projects comes from surplus funds from six capital projects already funded and completed. Those projects and the remaining funds are as follows: equipment and vehicles, $32,700; Board of Education parking lot expansion, $1,000; Queen Anne’s County High School sound system, $21,867; Kennard Elementary roof, $98,711; comprehensive building assessment, $13,141; and tennis court upgrades at both Queen Anne’s County and Kent Island high schools, $36,384. All remaining funds will be reallocated to security upgrades.
From left: Board of Education Facilities Planner Carla Viar Pullen, Interim School Superintendent Gregory Pilewski and Chief Financial Officer Robin Landgraf.