Monday, August 27, 2012

GREAT Start to the School Year

Today is the 10th day of classes already during this 2012-13 school year. Enrollment is up to 1,223 while it was at 1,191 this time last year. Last week was full of good news as student achievement scores were released and we found out we were well above the state averages in statewide reading, science, math, and writing assessments. We also found out that our ACT average improved to 22.6 while the state average is 22.0. We've settled into a routine and it's going to be a great, great year. GO DUKES!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

School Finance Tid-Bits

As YPS prepares for the beginning of the 2012-13 fiscal year on September 1st; there are several positives to look at. First off, our valuation is increasing 9.76% to $8,341,000. This means that every penny on our tax levy will generate $81,484. Our overall tax levy in 2011-12 was $1.26 and we anticipate the levy being able to decrease slightly for this upcoming year. We will be able to bring in about $75,000 more into our special building fund this upcoming year, which will help with our facility upkeep. Tentative projections call for YPS to receive $13,550,000 in 2012-13 while spending $13,300,000. GO DUKES!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Update on YHS Facility Project

The York High School renovation and addition project continues to move forward. A good deal of electrical and mechanical work was completed inside the building this summer, along with some carpet and door replacements. The geothermal well field is currently being dug on the east side of campus. Over the next few weeks, they will begin to pour foundations for the fine arts addition followed by the new gym. We expect the fine arts addition to be completed in January with the new gym to be completed in June. Throughout the upcoming school year, remodeling will continue to go on inside the facility. We had anticipated an overall completion date of August 2013 but it now looks more likely that the project will be finished up in November 2013 instead. The board of education has worked hard with the architect and construction company to analyze bid packages that came in during June and July to create the most cost effective building possible. At the August 6th special meeting, board members worked with DLR architects and Kingery Construction personnel to look at cost-savings ideas. The $12.5 million bond allowed for a construction budget of $11.2 million and the bid packages are currently adding up to approximately $12.1 million so some further analysis is being done, along with some re-bidding, material substitutions, and other practices that will not impact the scope of the project. There was some miscommunication between pre-bond cost analysts and post-bond architects, engineers, and construction managers that led to a difference in anticipated costs from last fall compared to actual hard bids that came in this summer. When all is said and done, YHS will have all of the improvements made that were discussed during the bond issue campaign last fall. If we are unable to get the overall construction budget down to the $11.2 million that was predicted by our architect and cost estimator last fall, we will simply use some money from our building fund, Qualified Capital Purposes Fund, bond interest proceeds, and profit from the sale of the current district office/storage facility and land located at 2918 North Delaware. The use of money from these various funds will have no impact on our tax levy. Each construction project brings on its own set of challenges and hurdles that need to be addressed. I’m proud of all the hard work the board of education has put into this enormous project. We’re moving ahead and excited about what will transpire over the next 15 months. School will begin on August 14th as scheduled. Please visit throughout the school year for more updates as construction progresses.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A New Year

As the calendar moves on to August, the anticipation of another school year gets cranked up. This will be my 19th year in education and it is still exciting to prepare for the 1st day of school. A school year is a lot like a voyage. There will be calm seas and rough waters to deal with. How we handle the highs and lows as a team will go a long way in determining how successful the 2012-13 school year becomes. I'm thankful for the dedicated staff and wonderful students we have in York. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities for greatness that will come our way. We'll continue to work very hard and to be as progressive as we can be. Here's to wishing you and yours a wonderful new school year as well! GO DUKES! - Mike