The Exeter Township School District is working to finalize a plan and a list of capital project improvements need throughout the district. Presentations and planning for these projects will be posted here on our website. The administration and Board of Directors welcomes public input from parents, families, taxpayers and Exeter community members during this process; please consider attending a school board or special committee meeting to participate.
Unless otherwise noted, meetings will be held in the Exeter Township Administration Building
- September 26th at 6PM
- October 26th at 6PM
Information & Presentations:
The Exeter Township Board of School Directors met with Superintendent Dr. Christy Haller, Business Administrator Brian Feick and representatives from Quandel Energy Group on Tuesday, September 26th for a special committee meeting to discuss capital improvements that are needed throughout the district. Earlier this year, Quandel, which is a group that manages construction projects for industry-specific organizations, such as schools, was asked by the district to review a list compiled by KCBA Architects in 2017 of identified–yet incomplete–capital improvements and provide updated estimates, which were given during a February 16th budget meeting. During the February meeting, Dr. Christy Haller reminded those in attendance that the numbers were only estimates. “The items on here have not been bid out or engineered to our specs. They’re rough estimates,” she said during that meeting, which was held at Reiffton School.
Following that winter presentation and a restructuring of the district’s debt during the spring to allow borrowing to complete outstanding projects, Quandel took a deeper dive during the summer and September to fully examine each building’s needs and assess the costs of the remaining projects. During that process, Quandel discovered more issues than were reported in the 2017 KCBA report.
On Tuesday night, Quandel presented their updated findings along with bids, as well as an updated price tag of $33 million for the projects. (Note: the price tag of $33 million is excluding athletic upgrades and the HVAC work already completed at the Junior High.) “As we know, inflation has hit everyone hard–school districts are no different–and supplies, labor and materials have all substantially increased,” said Dr. Haller prior to Quandel’s presentation. “So the numbers you’re going to see tonight are going to be different than the original numbers that were presented because, at that point, that was a surface-level look at KCBA’s report and (Quandel) has now been able to do a deeper dive with their engineers to really go into our buildings and see where we are.”
Prior to Quandel’s presentation, Dr. Haller said “Sticker shock is a real thing. I just want to make sure everyone knows–our board members, our community–that this is a high-level look. It’s an estimate. Some of these numbers may go down. Hopefully they don’t go up. But just like when you’re going through a personal home project, you’re going to look at the highest level… and then as the numbers become real, you start to scale back on that project or maybe you take some things out.” But she warned, “There’s probably not too many things that we can take out of these projects because of what needs to be done to keep the buildings running, but there are things that can be downgraded.”
“All of the projects will eventually have to be done,” she emphasized. Now, she said, it’s just determining how and when they’ll be done.
Quandel broke the projects down into several categories for each building as follows (please click HERE for a larger PDF)
- HVAC/Controls Upgrades: Whole building heating and air conditioning systems, units, ventilators, air exchangers, piping/venting, thermostats
- Electrical Upgrades: Replacement of electrical panels, generators
- Plumbing Upgrades: Fixing leaks, replacing dysfunctional toilets
- Auditorium, Cafeteria & AV Upgrades: Replacing auditorium seats, flooring, stage surfaces, and audio and sound systems for concerts, plays, assemblies and performances.
- Envelope Repairs: Fixing and sealing exterior walls, windows and roofs
- Flooring Repairs: Fixing or replacing flooring, stair treads, replacing worn carpets
- Masonry Repairs: Fixing expansion joints and loose or missing bricks, reappointing concrete in between bricks for stability and security
- Storm Water Management: Ensuring water is not leaking into the building through roofs, windows or the ground
- Repurpose Room: Converting rooms for one use to another
- ADA Upgrades: Ensuring toilets, stairs, etc. all are accessible to those with physical disabilities
- Site Repairs: Repairing grading for emergency vehicles
- Interior Doors, Egress, Walls: Replacing doors, and building permanent walls to replace movable walls that are no longer functional.
While most bids came in close (or less) than the estimates that Quandel provided in February, the most notable exception was the Senior High’s estimate, which, Quandel recommended, needed approximately $10 million more of HVAC work from their initial assessment earlier this year.
This presentation is one of several that will be upcoming to flesh out the final list of projects to finalize borrowing, which was worked into the budget with no change in existing debt payment.
In an effort to manage costs, Dr. Haller and Mr. Feick will now work with Quandel to take a closer look at the project list to prioritize the work and projects. It is expected that there will be an update of the capital projects during Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, which will be on October 3rd at 6PM.
Below is Quandel's presentation to the Board during the October 4th Committee of the Whole meeting.
Below is PFM's presentation to the Board during the October 17th Committee of the Whole meeting.
During the October 26th special meeting, the Administration presented a list of projects for the Board to consider removing or reducing in an effort to reduce costs, basing their recommendations upon those that had little or no impact on student instruction. Following a lengthy discussion, the Board agreed to remove all projects that the Administration presented to be eliminated or reduced, which include:
Eliminated from Projects:
- Jacksonwald, Lorane & the SHS Maintenance Garage plumbing upgrades
- Owatin Creek’s storm water management system
- Junior High’s repurposing of a former wood shop to a multi-purpose space
- Addition of doorway/cafeteria doors at Lorane
- Owatin Creek’s replacement of movable walls to fixed walls
Reduction in Scope:
- Junior High’s auditorium multi-purpose spaces
- Senior High auditorium’s audio, lighting and video systems
In all, the reduction and elimination of these projects will allow the final price tag to come in under $30 million, which was the previous amount the Board had agreed to borrow up to through two bond issuances, which they approved earlier this year.
Through this borrowing, as well as expected rebates from the projects and higher-than-normal interest rates, the Board also plans to replenish the District’s capital reserves fund (currently at a balance of approximately $100,000) to $4 million to allow the District to tap into reserves at a future date for unexpected maintenance and repairs, as well as needed capital projects in the future.
At the next Committee of the Whole meeting on November 6th, the Board will hear from PFM Financial Advisors about next steps to complete the financing of these projects once the Board has approved the final list.
To view the Administration’s presentation, please click HERE
A video of the meeting is below:
Below is PFM's presentation to the Board during the November 6th Committee of the Whole meeting.
Below is the final capital project list that was approved by the board during the voting meeting.