school_aerial2Even as it moves forward with the septic system replacement capital project, the Lansing Board Of Education is considering a new project that it is calling the S.M.A.R.T. (Security, Mechanical, Architectural, Reconstruction, Technology) Project.  District Business Administrator Mary June King says the $6,450,000 project can be completed with no additional taxes or budget impact.

"We've done a number of projects since our 2010 Building Condition Survey came out," she told the school board.  "There were still a number of items, mostly infrastructure related that remain on the Building Condition Survey that we haven't touched yet."

King explained that both the septic and S.M.A.R.T. projects will not impact taxes or the school budget because it is a continuation of existing debt that would be ending in 2016-17.  But she explained that keeping that level of debt is beneficial when trying to meet tax cap requirements in developing future budgets, while allowing the district to complete the two projects without asking taxpayers for more money.

"There is no additional impact on the budget," King said.  "There is no additional impact on taxes on this.  We have a million dollar debt 'falling off in 2016-17.  That means that there's a million dollar debt payment that we won't have to make in 2016-17.  After state aid comes in that translates to about a $350,000 local share falling off.  About $140,000 is already earmarked for the septic project.  That left us with about $210,000.  That's how we came up with a number."

The project will replace failing boilers in the high school; replace gymnasium air handlers and an elevator; provide filtering and plumbing upgrades and an ultraviolet disinfection system for the pool; create three music practice rooms; a sports booster concessions stand, and a work space for teachers on the second floor.

The middle school will see upgrades to the auditorium lobby including new bathrooms and doors; a reconfiguration of the main office for security purposes, similar to what was done in the high school; repairs to basement drainage; climate control improvements in the library; replacement of a walk-in freezer; and electrical upgrades.  The technology building will get a new boiler, plumbing and a water heater.

The elementary school will have security film installed on windows and new locks in the cafeteria; a new set of doors and access controls at the entrance; ventilation in crawl spaces; improved drainage in the upper playground; a crowd control fence and timer/motion detector lighting.

All three schools will get upgrades to telephones, clocks PA systems, fire systems and emergency lighting; and notification appliances.  The Buildings and Grounds building will also get fire system upgrades and new exit signs and emergency lighting.  The transportation building will get new work bay roll up doors and protection for exposed ceiling insulation.

King said that the project came from the survey and open meetings of a large group of stakeholders, including union representatives, sports booster club and LTAPA members, the music department and school lunch program, principals and teachers who work in the facilities every day who could identify other issues that may not have shown up on the Building Condition Survey.

King said the school board will be asked to vote on a final project September 29th.  If passed by the board, district voters will be asked to approve it in a  December referendum.  The work is planned for the summer of 2016.