Monday, October 19, 2009

Construction Update

The final footings have been poured for the southeast classrooms. The 2 windows will have a wall in between them separating the 2 classrooms.

The concrete floor in the northeast classrooms was poured on 10/19/09. We finally have an area that is free from mud!

This area will be the future restrooms on the east end of the commons area. Work finished on the outside walls on 10/19/09. Work as slowed as the block masons have fought rain and mud.

Plumbers are roughing in drains in the kitchen area. They have fought extremely wet weather as can be seen by the lumpy terrain.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Governor Institutes 10% Cut

Governor Culver has recently announced a 10% Across-The-Board-Cuts(ATBC) for all state agencies. The Governor has the power and to institute an ATBC. What this means for Newell-Fonda? $200,337.00

I want to explain what this means. We planned our budget last February, had the state's blessing on the amount we would receive in funding. We then planned accordingly to fill our staffing needs. This cut is put into effect immediately. We will receive $200,337.00 LESS than we were promised in our budget. No need to complain, it is what it is, and we must move forward and work together to get through this.

Early projections were that the Governor would start with a smaller cut and then another cut later. The other cut later may still be coming. State revenues are off nearly 17%. Education is 45% of the state's budget. He just cut 10%; and it appears unless there is a dramatic turn-around, there may be more cuts coming. Historically, an economic recovery takes more time than decline. We need to prepare for more cuts.

I announced at our last board meeting the following: "I want to thank past and present board members for making a difficult decision on closing the Fonda building." This will make a difference in how we are able to withstand this down turn in our funding. Other schools will try to react but a process like this takes time.

The administrative team has begun looking at things that we can reduce or do without in the future. There can be no reductions to certified staff because they are under contract for 1 year. Many state agencies have the ability to institute furloughs but we can’t do that. This will be a very important year for the Legislature. They will need to prioritize spending on a tight budget year. All government agencies and businesses are feeling the pinch of this long-term downturn.

Can Newell-Fonda withstand this? Absolutely, but we need to work now in little ways so that we can be in a position to support programs for kids. We will begin planning for next year and look for ways to become more efficient while at the same time continuing to offer quality programs.

You can view the Sunday Des Moines Register article related to the cuts. The cuts for every district in Iowa can be seen here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Construction Update

Work is progressing very well as the block mason has been moving right along. They are laid something on every wall. Interior footings are also being finished by the general contractor. This photo is taken from the future commons area looking north to the 2 class rooms on the north. Each will have a large window in it.

This photo is the future front of the addition and will be 2 classrooms facing south. The windows will be taking shape in the coming days. The block masons have only been on site for 3 weeks and have had great weather.