Courtesy Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District board of trustees on Monday night approved a number of measures as a move to reduce costs and balance a now anticipated $5.8 million budget shortfall for the 2012–13 school year as a result of state funding cuts.
Trustees approved proposals meant to reduce impact in classrooms, including outsourcing night shift custodial positions, authorizing the sale of surplus property and selling $32.5 million of bonds from the 2011 bond program.
Beginning in June, the school district will outsource 33 full-time equivalent night shift custodial positions at elementary schools to the janitorial and custodial services group Gca K12 Education Services as a cost-cutting measure.
“All the districts in Texas are facing difficult decisions because of the drastic reductions in funding from the last legislative session and this is one of those,” Superintendent Robin Ryan said.
Trustees' move to outsource those positions is anticipated to save the school district $200,000 every year under the five-year contract. The daytime custodial positions at elementary schools will not be affected.
“The district is cutting everywhere, so we are asked to make sacrifices,” said Tom Browning, GCISD's director of facility services. “Currently we have openings in the custodial, so we are not hiring people into those positions.”
Trustees also unanimously approved selling district property located on Northwest Highway to buyer Julia Tijerina for $425,000, pending a successful feasbility study and rezoning, and selling the remaining $32.5 million of bonds authorized by voters in the May 2011 bond election.
The district planned to authorize selling the bonds in spring 2013, but its financial adviser Bill Gumbert told trustees selling the bonds now during historically low interest rates would result in cost savings to the district. The move is estimated to save about $18.8 million over the 25-year lifespan of the 2011 bond program. According to GCISD, it will also result in a lower tax rate increase of 3.05 cents as opposed to the anticipated 3.93 cents.
In addition, trustees approved refunding about $37.9 million in existing variable rate bonds as part of the 2007 bond program. With the interest rate set to expire on July 31, trustees decided to refund the bonds with a fixed interest rate of about 3.15 percent. GCISD currently pays a 4 percent interest rate. The move is estimated to save the district about $14.3 million.
Trustees also unanimously approved a proposal to upgrade the school district's outdated surveillance video management system from analog cameras to digital cameras districtwide. Since the existing system experiences frequent failures, the upgrade is anticipated to reduce operational costs over the next five years. Trustees awarded a $662,400 contract to Entech.
In other business, trustees voted to accept a $16,276 donation from the Grapevine High School Baseball Booster Club to help pay for a new baseball hitting facility at Grapevine High School and an upgraded softball hitting cage.
Mustang-Panther Stadium will also see improvements, after trustees unanimously approved awarding $244,295 to Sawyers Construction for repairs to seating and concrete stairways. The move is a temporary fix expected to cover the next five years.