Farmington Public Schools is hiring Plante Moran Cresa to assist a committee charged with coming up with a plan for district-wide improvements and how to pay for them.
Last year, district bond proposals to fund technology and building upgrades failed at the polls — a $222 million plan in August and a pared-down $186.2 million, 2-proposal package in November. Since then, district officials have obtained feedback from the community which shows “strong support” for another bond proposal, according to Superintendent Sue Zurvalec, prompting the district to form a committee this year to address that issue.
As facilitator for the district’s “facilities finance plan process,” Plante Moran Cresa will serve as a third-party consultant to that committee —comprised of community members and FPS staff — charged with reviewing the earlier bond proposals, identifying what needs to be done and coming up with funding options. They include another bond proposal or a combination of a sinking fund and later bond proposal, Zurvalec said.
Jon Riebe, FPS director of facilities management, recommended that the Board of Education appoint Plante Moran Cresa because of its “trusted name in the public school arena” and success the firm has had in similar projects in other districts.
Leading the facilities process will be Plante Moran Cresa partners Paul Wills and Greg VanKirk.
Prior to the appointment — which was met with unanimous Board of Education approval Feb. 11 — Wills said the plan is to “look at critical needs and come up with funding (proposals).” Legal and bond counsels, architects, technical experts and others will be tapped for input, he said, as will the community — including local government officials. He also anticipates regular updates to the school board.
Plante Moran Cresa has no sights set on whatever building projects that might result from the process, but instead will be offering “independent advice,” Wills added. The firm will be paid an hourly rate as consultant, up to $37,500.
FPS Board of Education Vice President Sheilah Clay said it’s a “good recommendation to bring on someone of this caliber and experience.”
“After going through (bond proposals) twice, my position is the third time has to be the charm,” she said. “This is a good move on the part of the district.”
The original article from Hometown Life can be found here