The Buffalo School board heard from its buildings and grounds director regarding capital outlays proposed in the budget.
The board also heard an update regarding class sizes, and discussed technology improvements.
Buildings and Grounds Director John Heltunen said that, as always, there are always more maintenance needs around the district than there are funds available to address them. Heltunen shared that some projects cannot be completed in one year, but they will be spread out over several years.
He presented a few budget highlights, from around the district, that need to be focused on: Buffalo High School roof repairs and outside security cameras; structural repairs to the floor and roof in the middle school pool area; Tatanka Elementary hallway and media center tile and carpet replacement; playgrounds at all of the elementary schools will have surface replacements and equipment assessed for safety regulations over the next five years, beginning with Montrose Elementary.
Heltunen assured that every school would get something out of the budget; some just have more pressing needs than others.
In other news, the board reviewed the Second Semester Class Size Report.
Class sizes have remained stable over the past school year. Elementary sizes were 23.58 students per class in October, and 23.82 in January; middle school sizes were 29.87 in October and 30.42 in January; and high school sizes were 31 in October and 29.75 in January.
There are 10 elementary classrooms with 30 or more students. There are class sizes as high as 35 in middle school science, 36 in English and 37 in math. Class sizes at the high school are as high as 38 in English, social studies and math. Enrollment has remained stable at the elementary and middle school levels since Oct. 1. The high school has decreased by more than 30 students, which is very typical.
In further matters, the board was updated regarding technology improvements that the district has made during last several years to better serve the needs of students and staff.
This proposed lease purchase (approved by the board) will replace the main core servers of the network and will also upgrade the wireless access points in the district. The district will enter into a three year, zero percent financing lease agreement with the equipment installation scheduled to happen this spring.
The district is working with Techcheck to set-up the new system. Kevin Kourajian, a representative from Techcheck, was present to explain how the new Cisco equipment will improve the system.
“We are really looking out for the growing needs of the district for the next five years,” Kourajian said. “The communication should improve dramatically with the equipment upgrades. This change is like going from a one-inch pipe to a ten-inch pipe. The amount of information that will be able to go out will increase and speeds should be faster.”