Renovations are being eyed for Blue Devil Stadium. (Darin Reed

Capital Reserve Proposition Takes Shape

Renovations are being eyed for Blue Devil Stadium. (Darin Reed photo)

March 14, 2019

While Huntington School Board members have not yet taken any final action, the outlines of a possible capital reserve fund proposition are coming into focus in the Huntington School District.

Superintendent James W. Polansky has outlined $3.846 million worth of needed projects in the district that officials would like to see included in a May 21 proposition.

Monies for the possible projects already exist and are set aside in a reserve fund created by residents to cover the cost of such projects. The district will not need to borrow or incur any interest expenses should a proposition be placed on the ballot and be approved by residents.

Monies the district is able to save during the course of a year can be transferred into the Building Improvement Fund and used to keep Huntington’s eight buildings in good shape. These monies can only be used for capital projects, including new school roofs, windows, doors, boilers, facility improvements, etc. Completed projects are eligible for state aid. District residents must approve any expenditure of funds.

“We continue to address our capital needs incrementally as a result of prudent long-term planning and reserve use,” Mr. Polansky said. “This has contributed to both debt reduction and cost efficiencies. Projects proposed for the May proposition will allow us to continue addressing building infrastructure needs. The designated reserve will also allow us to replace the turf field at the high school, which has reached the end of its useful life. None of this work will have any impact on the tax levy or rate.”

A description and estimated cost of the projects under consideration by district trustees is as follows:

Huntington High School

  • Replacement of the original set of boilers that are more than 60 years old: $1.5 million
  • Partial roof replacement: $1 million
  • Turf athletic field replacement: $650,000
  • Perimeter netting system replacement and enhancement at the turf athletic field: $55,000
  • Replacement of goal posts at the turf athletic field: $41,000
  • Building total: $3.246 million

J. Taylor Finley Middle School

  • Replace the building’s original student lockers that are 54 years old: $600,000
  • Building total: $600,000

District total: $3,846,000

The Huntington School District is well-positioned to tackle possible renovation and repair projects with nearly $4.5 million held in capital reserve fund accounts. By maintaining a well-funded reserve, the district can avoid borrowing costs to upgrade its facilities.

The district currently maintains three Building Improvement Funds, one approved by residents in May 2013 that currently contains $1,231,498; another authorized in May 2017 that contains $2,681,210 and a third created in May 2018 that contains $565,824.

The monies in the capital reserve fund represent dollars already provided to the district by taxpayers that, because of tight fiscal management and economizing, weren’t needed to pay for regular school operations. The source of the funding is the annual transfer of surplus monies from the district’s general fund.

Since May 2016, district residents have approved $11.231 million worth of capital reserve projects during May balloting. The district will receive millions of dollars in state aid reimbursements over the next 15 years.

The establishment and ongoing use of a capital reserve fund has allowed the district to avoid borrowing and reduce long-term debt to below $1.9 million as of last July 1.

Many projects already approved by district residents are ready to move beyond the design and bidding stage next July and August. The summer capital reserve fund work will include:

Southdown Primary School

  • Installation of a security vestibule
  • Replacement of the building’s roof

Woodhull Intermediate School

  • Installation of a security vestibule
  • Replacement of the building’s boilers
  • Replacement of bathroom tile
  • Repaving of the parking lot
  • Reconstruction of curbs in the parking lot

J. Taylor Finley Middle School

  • Replacement of exterior doors
  • Replacement of the exterior “roll-up” door
  • Replacement of the seats and floor tiles in the LGI/auditorium

Flower Hill Primary School

  • Replacement of the building’s roof
  • Installation of a security vestibule

Jefferson Primary School

  • Replacement of the building’s roof
  • Replacement of bathroom tile

Washington Primary School

  • Installation of a security vestibule

Huntington High School

  • Replacement of an exterior “roll-up” door