The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 12, 2013

District eyes furnishings; middle school spending authority is OK'd

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — As construction on the new Clinton Community School District Middle School continues to move forward, the district now has to decide how they will furnish the newly developed school.

At a school board meeting Monday, Chief Financial Director Cindy McAleer offered the board an option to fund those furnishings.

The approval on Monday for an additional spending authority request from the School Budget Review Committee came unanimously from the board after a presentation from Lyons Middle School principal Dan Boyd.

"With the big picture, with the current status of the way our classrooms are we elected to keep some of the desks that we have because they were able to help us maximize the student count in those classrooms," Boyd said. "So, as a result of that, there is a high need for bookshelves, desks, chairs, stools, whatever would be associated. You could really have a good resource in that."

Boyd also provided a complete comprehensive list of all the furnishings and equipment the middle school will need to function, costing the district approximately $878,155.81.

With the approval of the request, the district could receive the additional spending authority for the entire $878,155.81 or may not receive any of it, but without the money in reserve, the authority means nothing.

"They could deny all of it; they could approve some of it; they could approve all of it," McAleer said. "(But) they won't give us cash for it, we have to use our cash on hand."

"So, if we don't have it, we can't spend it," board president Jim McGraw added.

Some of the equipment Boyd is requesting for the new school includes end mats for the gymnasium, eight new wireless access points, digital cameras for security and standard window coverings.

To keep costs down, Boyd and Washington middle school principal Brian Kenney plan to used the updated equipment from both middle schools as well as finding the cheapest furnishings for the district.

"We're looking at an average price or a little below average, because we still need to have flexibility for what the teachers want in their classrooms," Boyd said. "Some of the things on there are not needed to make the school functional, but some of them are things we would like to have."

According to superintendent Deb Olson asking for additional spending authority from the committee is a common practice, and if approved, the district would not be required to act on any of it.

"We are just asking for authority," Olson said. "This is not unusual for schools to do this."

In addition to the spending, the district also will work to file for grants and other ways of funding for the future of the new Clinton Middle School.