Scottsbluff School Board Approves Funding For Projects, Other Purchases

This article originally appeared on Star Herald. To view the original article, click here

The Scottsbluff Public Schools Board of Education approved purchases and upcoming Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund (QCPUF) projects at its regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 14.

Three projects were identified as eligible under the QCPUF for the 2023-2024 year: replacement of sewer lines at Longfellow and Roosevelt Elementary Schools, a fire suppression system at Westmoor Elementary School and the replacement of the Scottsbluff High School auditorium roof.

In order to qualify for QCPUF funding, projects must meet certain conditions, including “modifications for the life safety code violations, life safety hazards, and mold abatement and prevention.”

The project costs estimates were listed as $80,000 for the sewer line replacements, $312,000 for the fire suppression system and $740,000 for the auditorium roof. Those funds are to be collected through the levy which will be approved during the current budget season.

“In order to levy within this fund, the board has to pass a resolution which outlines the projects as to why we’re collecting the levy,” Executive Director of Finance Marianne Carlson said. “We would be taxing within the 2023 tax year, and those taxes are usually collected in 2024.”

The resolution passed by the board allows them to approve the final levy for said projects during its September meeting.

The approved expenses included the purchase of new laptops, a bid which was awarded to Staples Technology Solutions for $66,811.70. The laptop purchases were part of the district’s normal computer replacement cycle and are intended for use at Scottsbluff High School and to accommodate additional staff as needed.

The other major purchase approved by the board was for air quality device smart sensors to be installed at Bluffs Middle School and Scottsbluff High School. The system is intended to assist in building health monitoring and air control quality, but has additional capabilities as explained by Carlson.

“They can provide THC and vape detection, gunshot detection, emergency key detection and much more,” Carlson said.

The HALO Smart Sensor system approved by the board connects with the district’s existing security system and must be installed by the same company, INA Alert, which is why the project was not put out for bids.

The project approved by the board includes the installation of 16 sensors at BMS and 14 at SHS for a total cost of $97,117.49.

Members of the board and Superintendent Andrew Dick also expressed their excitement for the upcoming school year and encouragement for district staff ahead of the first day of school for students Thursday.

The Scottsbluff Public Schools Board of Education will conduct a special meeting on Aug 28 at 5 p.m. and its next regular meeting will be held on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. Both meetings will take place in the boardroom at Scottsbluff High School.