Summer projects completed under budget

By: Robert Guttersohn | Royal Oak Review | Published September 25, 2013

ROYAL OAK — The Royal Oak Schools announced Sept. 12 that the first series of sinking fund projects that went on throughout the summer were completed under budget.

The district projected it would cost $2.6 million, and the actual cost was $2.5 million.

“We had a very good team assembled to make sure these projects were successful,” said Rick West, the district’s executive director of business services and finance, during a presentation to the Board of Education. “They all came together. They all did an excellent job to make sure these buildings were ready to go on Sept. 3.”

The group of projects is the first to be completed throughout 10 years, due to the passage of the 1-mill sinking fund in November 2012.

The millage, estimated to bring the district about $2.2 million annually, came with a promise of districtwide student security and technological improvements.

The district was under budget for many of the summer’s largest, costliest projects.

Oak Ridge Elementary School was to receive a mechanical and electrical upgrade projected to cost $1,126,950. It actually cost the district $1,079,586, according to West’s presentation.

The installation of a secure entry to the Royal Oak High School and the moving of the gymnasium to make way for the entry was budgeted at $356,000. It actually cost the district $16,000 less.

And a broad project to replace roofs at Addams Elementary, Upton Elementary, the maintenance building and the high school, was to cost about $256,000. Altogether, it cost the district $223,000.

A few of the projects cost more than forecasted.

A districtwide project to replace some of the pavement was budgeted to cost $65,000. It cost the district $82,000.

The secure entry to Oakland Elementary ran about $7,000 over budget.

Gary Briggs, the Board of Education president, thanked all those involved in getting the construction done on time.

“It’s been a very, very busy, but very productive, summer,” Briggs said.

“I’m excited, and I’m very grateful for all the work that’s been done,” Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin said.

West also laid out projects for next summer.

He said priorities for 2014 include renovations to Churchill Community Education Center and replacing the parking lots at the high school and middle school.

“There’s tangible things that our taxpayers will see as a result of their commitment through passing the sinking fund,” West said.

West plans to bring a full presentation to the board on those projects in October for approval.