School board has balanced budget

Upgrades include concrete work, media equipment, weight room

The Mancos School Board may fund facility improvements in the coming school year and maintain a balanced budget.

The school board discussed the upgrades in a special meeting dedicated to the budget on May 29. The proposed budget is balanced with a conservative projection for state funding.

Some of the proposed upgrades include a new $10,000 sound system and new convection ovens estimated to cost $6,500.

The school is also proposing $12,000 of concrete work at the elementary school and new ceiling-mounted projectors that would come in around $12,600.

The school may also invest in converting space into a new wrestling room, which is estimated to cost $3,000, according to school board documents.

Other improvements include refinishing gym floors and new middle school lockers.

Board members expressed relief at the ability to invest in the buildings and to do it with a balanced budget. During the 2013-14 school year the performance center's new roof contributed to the deficit.

"It's been a long time since we had any breathing room," said Blake Mitchell a board member.

The preschool also contributed to the deficit during the last year, but increased funding for a few more students may allow it to be self sustaining.

One of the programs still under discussion is e-School program, which was used by two homeschool students in the district last year. The program can provide supplemental classes to Mancos students, but the program had no traditional students enrolled at the end of the 2013-14 year. The program is currently not funded.

Superintendent Brian Hanson said he was still in talks with the local Board of Cooperative Educational Service (BOCES). The board is changing the rate structure to include a hefty fixed fee of $13,000 for districts plus $200 for each class.