By Mary Smith
Weathersfield schools continue to make progress in reducing spending, but it has three years ahead in which school construction and possible staff changes will factor into finances.
Treasurer Laurena Rouan said the changes are because of the district’s plans to go from three schools to two.
Construction is underway on a $25.2 million project partly funded by the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission at $17.5 million, along with $7.5 million in local funds, and an additional $529,139 for a new $1.5 million junior-high gym at the high school.
The bulk of the funds will pay for an addition and interior renovation of the high school and demolition and construction at Seaborn Elementary.
The middle school will be razed in 2015. Voters also approved a maintenance levy of 0.5 mills to generate $79,954 a year for 30 years.
The district will begin to make the switch in the 2013-2014 school year, when Seaborn Elementary students will attend classes at the middle school while Seaborn undergoes demolition.
In the 2014-2015 school year, students will be back in the new Seaborn. The former middle school students will be attending classes either at Seaborn, for sixth-graders down to kindergarten, or for seventh- and eighth-graders at a new junior-high section at the high school.
Rouan said she anticipates retirement of several teachers in 2015, but noted that there have been changes in the State Teachers Retirement System that teachers will have to weigh.
Rouan said with all the changes, she is hoping the district will be able to stay out of the red in the 2016-2017 school year.
The cash balance at the end of the 2013 school year will be nearly $1.6 million, compared with the previously projected balance of $1.4 million. Expenses are still exceeding revenues, she said, but now that imbalance is $158,000 instead of the $278,000 expected in October 2012.
Based on the status quo, without taking into account any of the expected savings, Rouan is projecting that the district will show a cash balance in 2014 of $1.15 million; $554,308 in 2015; and negative balances in 2016 of $250,297 and $1.359 million in 2017.