DOTHAN, Ala. (WSFA) - Since the beginning of school consolidation talks, building upgrades for Dothan City School facilities has always been a part of the discussion.
Thursday, school board members approved contracts for some of the major construction work during a school board work session.
“We’ve put as many band-aids on these systems as we can and they really, really need to be replaced so these children who go to these schools can have a quality environment to go to school in,” said Mike Manuel, Chief Financial Officer, Dothan City Schools.
The board approved borrowing $10.6 million that will go towards facility upgrades - like new lighting, and HVAC at Carver, Selma Street, and Dothan Prep Academy - schools identified with the most immediate need.
“As you heard today, the system at Dothan High is 40 years old - not many of us have 40 year old air conditioning at our house,” said Manuel.
The system will also enter an energy services contract with Trane Performance that will investigate ways to save money. Recommendations of like the LED lightning upgrades are expected to save long-term. Chief Financial Officer, Mike Manuel said in the first year the system is expected to save $390,000.
But even with money coming in from renovation updates, Manuel cautioned the system that after this - they should hold off on any more major borrowing for the next few years. The system recently agreed to go out for a $15 million bond issue to pay for other construction needs.
“My recommendation is that we wait 3-4-5 more years before we do another sizable borrow just from a cash flow problem,” said Manuel.
The system expects to pay off the $10.6 million in 18 years.
The construction work on renovations is expected to be done by local vendors.