CHCCS assistant superintendent for support services Todd LoFrese talked about ideas to fill a funding gap for the new construction at Lincoln Center and Chapel Hill High School at the school board meeting last Thursday.
The board authorized a budget of almost $1.4 million for both projects at a previous meeting but have since exhausted the budget they had received from the county.
Since the board is waiting to see if Orange County voters will approve a record $120 million school bond in November, LoFrese said there aren’t many options.
“We have two options. One would be to stop the design work until the bond passes. The other would be to authorize additional funding to continue the work,” LoFrese said.
LoFrese said he would rather front the money with the district’s fund balance and get reimbursed once the bond is approved in November.
To continue the designs the board would have to allocate approximately $350,000 each month until November.
LoFrese said he spoke with the county manager and financial staff about the reimbursement idea and they agreed the plan could be feasible.
LoFrese said this plan would be similar to design work that was done for Northside Elementary School, although the reimbursement funds ended up not being needed due to timing of the approval for that bond.
“At that time, I think there was about an eight-or-nine-month window that we needed and both the board and the county adopted a reimbursement resolution that allowed us to get started on design work on Northside Elementary, and receive reimbursement from the county,” Lofrese said.
The major concern with this idea is the possibility of the bond not being approved, but the board did not seem concerned toward that issue at the meeting.
The board supported Lofrese’s idea to move forward with creating an official plan for this funding and bringing it to the next meeting for an official vote from the board.
The next meeting for the CHCCS Board will be held on Thursday, September 29.