07-25-2019 Board Workshop

The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met for a Board Workshop on Capital Outlay priorities on Tuesday, July 25, 2019, at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Eagle newspaper on Thursday, July 4, 2019. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Call to Order

Minutes: Chairman Descovich called the meeting to order at: 2:00 p.m.

Roll Call
2. Roll Call

Minutes: Members Present:  Misty Belford, Cheryl McDougall, Tina Descovich, Matt Susin and Katye Campbell.

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Minutes: Chairman Descovich led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Order of Business
Order of Business

4. Capital Outlay Priorities Discussion
Attachment: Capital Budget Workshop-7-17-19.pdf

Chairman Descovich turned the meeting over to Pennie Zuercher, Chief Financial Officer.  Ms. Zuercher then introduced members of her team JoAnn Clark, Director of Accounting Services, and Wendy Knippel, Accounting Manager overseeing Capital Outlay.

Wendy Knippel provided the process from which they determined whether to fully fund, not fund or partially fund. Ms. Knippel explained that it was a collaborative effort.  She provided the Capital Planning process timeline.

Ms. Zuercher clarified the process by which the rankings were made.

Mr. Susin asked about utilizing contingency funds.  Ms. Zuercher provided explanation and said that they work very collaboratively with departments. 

Ms. McDougall asked if they had considered  putting up classroom walls at Andersen Elementary. 

Mr. Susin had questions about the tracks that were listed as "failed" in the facilities assessment.

Ms. Hann expressed that there were some disparities in playgrounds across the District as facilities cannot provide enough upkeep due to lack of dollars.  Mr. Susin brought up utilizing monies from Space Coast Fair to fund playgrounds. He asked about allocating those funds to playgrounds for schools that could not come up with matching funds. Ms. Campbell said she would need more information before she could commit those funds to playgrounds.  Ms. Campbell suggested those schools reach out to community partners. Dr. Mullins said that he would bring back to the Board the total of the funds received from Space Coast Fair and a recommendation on how to use those funds. Ms. Belford asked Ms. Cline to determine how many of our schools are in need of a playground.

 Ms. Belford asked about the prioritization of items next year and asked if staff from safety and security should be added to the committee for evaluation. She also asked about the dollars indicated for network infrastructure refreshment. Mr. Cheatham provided some explanation of the impact.

There were questions about bus lift replacement.  Ms. Zuercher's recommendation is to fully fund this due to safety concerns.

More questions and discussion ensued about varied requests. 

Ms. Campbell asked about the direction for the $956,548 that become contingency. Ms. Zuercher said that her recommendation would be to allocate those dollars to Technology.

There was conversation about purchasing equipment for the schools to mow its own grounds.

Mr. Susin brought project matching for large projects and asked if there would be an appetite to start using contingency funds for these types of large projects.  Ms. Hann said that she felt a good way to start is to work with the high schools to find out first, who might want to take advantage of the opportunity.

Ms. Descovich wanted to know what direction staff needed to proceed. Ms. Zuercher said that staff needs direction from the Board on priorities and how to utilize the $956,000.

Ms. Belford recommended that Board members share with the committee members some areas of concern they would like to see considered and let them go through the process and bring back recommendations.  

Mr. Susin

  • Give $100K to Operations and Maintenance to cover the mowing equipment
  • Give full funding of $165K to the Merritt Island concession stand and bathrooms
  • Take $500K out of contingency for schools if they can find matching funds
  • Leave the rest of the money to go toward computer refreshment $692K

Ms. Belford

  • Computer Refreshment
  • Innovate STEAM Academy at Madison Middle
  • Classroom Renovation- not to limit to lowest performing schools
  • Increase on mowing and grounds equipment

Ms. McDougall

  • Computer Refreshment
  • Mowing
  • Classroom Refurbishing
  • Concession with Bathrooms

Ms. Campbell

  • Mowing
  • As much as possible go toward #2 and #3 for Technology

Ms. Descovich

  • Take as much from the Sales Surtax as possible for Technology
  • Reasonable to give some for Merritt Island concession

Ms. Belford said that we need to communicate the needs to our community and in order to do that we need dollar amounts. Ms. Hann said she would get that together.


Closing Remarks
5. Closing Remarks


Chairman Descovich thanked Ms. Zuercher, her team and the committee for their efforts.

6. Adjournment

Minutes: Chairman Descovich adjourned the meeting at: 3:48 p.m.

For further details pertaining to this meeting, please refer to the published video on the School Board of Brevard County's website (www.brevardschools.org).