School Board selects final plans for new Madison Middle School building, sets working budget

Sep. 28—Blake Vickers

The Madison County School Board revealed final plans for the new Madison County Middle School building and approved the 2022-2023 working budget in their Sept. 22 meeting.

Mark Woods, chief financial officer of the school district, presented the board with the 2022-2023 working budget.

"I'll remind you this is the third time you've seen the budget. We started in January with the draft. In May, we do the tentative, where we have just a few more pieces. Now, we have all the pieces of the puzzle," Woods said of the school system's budgeting process.

One of the biggest changes from the tentative budget includes an approximate $330,000 decrease in their budget for SEEK funding from the state.

"Our growth in the county on assessments really hurt us, if I'm to be quite honest," Woods said. "This did include full day kindergarten funding, additional transportation funding, and $100 per pupil that the legislature appropriated. Without that, we would actually be down $1.04 million on SEEK as compared to last year. We did have substantial growth."

Board member Lori Cobb further elaborated on the process.

"The more money that we collect off of our property tax assessments, the less money we get from the state," Cobb said.

Woods said he reduced the budget on Medicaid revenue by about $50,000 from the tentative budget.

"Our main funding will be a reconciliation of the 2020-2021 school year. The transportation costs were reduced out of that in the final calculations based on the way Medicaid calculates," Woods said.

Woods also gave an update on expenditures in the budget.

"The main part of the expenditures that have changed is — I sat down and I go through every person in our district and make sure that they're all accounted for and they're all properly coded to the proper fund and that we have enough money budgeted in those categories. That's where your changes come in here. Our budget is about 76% salaries and fringe."

Some of that change comes from an increase in teachers and ESSR and CARES funding resulting from COVID-19.

"There's very little changes in our overall budget other than accounting for our salaries. I did have some increased expenditures," Woods said. "To balance our budget, it will take a million dollars of our contingency. We talked about that in our tentative budget when we were going through that. We planned for that... We did have to increase our diesel fuel... prices spiked on it. The budget increased by half a million dollars. We have the Ignite Academies that have opened and we do have some additional costs beyond funding that we've received to help offset and operate those. Those additional costs will be about about $700,000 that we needed to account for to take care of those. Those are the main changes in the budget."

In May's tentative budget presentation, the Madison County School board approved a 3% raise in the salary schedule for teachers. Classified employees (cooks, custodial staff, bus drivers) received a $1 raise across the board.

Woods said the school is also waiting on an order of buses, which has been delayed due to high demand throughout the commonwealth. He said it would likely take eight months for the buses to get in.

Board members approved the budget through a vote.

The board also approved the BG3, BG1, and final plans for the new Madison Middle School Building.

Tony Thomas of Clotfelter Samokar Construction presented the item.

"The BG3 and the revised BG1 are pretty much identical forms. They are basically cost estimates that KDE keeps wanting us to update as we move forward" Thomas said. "The construction estimate is $43,000,776. With soft costs, that gets you to $49,292,860 for the BG3."

The middle school facility will be 98,000 square feet, with 110,000 square feet of building in total. The facility will have a football field, a soccer field, a baseball field, and 450 total parking spaces. There will be two entrances — one off Goggins Lane and another just below the soccer field.

An emergency teacher certification was passed for a science teacher at Farristown Middle School.

According to Superintendent David Gilliam, the instructor has her teaching certificate, just not in that subject area. It is one of several emergency teaching certifications passed by the school board in recent weeks.

Other business:

Several field trips were given the all clear by the board — including a Madison Southern High School trip to Indianapolis and a Madison Central High School trip to Indianapolis.

A machinery surplus was declared.