BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE

The Bald Knob School District (District) has approximately 1,100 students in three schools located on one campus in a K-5, 6-8, 9-12 grade configuration. The three schools are H.L. Lubker Elementary School, Bald Knob Middle School, and Bald Knob High School.

Condition of Facilities

The District has several buildings that have exceeded their anticipated 50-year life, and a list of elementary buildings with zero value or less follows.

Elementary Buildings

School

Building

Date Built

Area (SF)

Building Value

Notes

Elementary School

Main

1976

30,346

8%

Will reach 0% value in four years - in the six year scope of the 2020 Master Plan. District plans to demolish in Partnership Program project #2223-7301-101.

Elementary School

Special Education

1952

12,068

-40%

District plans to demolish in Partnership Program project #2223-7301-101.

Elementary School

Old Kindergarten

1966 & 1973

11,132

Will reach 0% value in one year - in the six year scope of the 2020 Master Plan. District plans to demolish in Partnership Program project #2223-7301-101.

The following paragraphs contain a discussion of the conditions for the three schools and overall campus and site in the District. The District has an excellent maintenance program to address warm, safe, and dry issues that arise and uses SchoolDude to track maintenance and preventative maintenance.

Bald Knob High School

The high school main building was built in 2003, and a middle school/high school cafeteria was constructed in 2017. The main high school building’s roof and HVAC systems are near the end of life and need replacement. The district is replacing the HVAC system using ESSER funds during the summer of 2022 and plans to submit a Partnership Program project to replace the roof in the 2025-2027 project funding cycle.

Bald Knob Middle School

A new middle school main building was built in 2012. 

H.L. Lubker Elementary School

Unlike Bald Knob High School and Bald Knob Middle School, most of the H. L. Lubker Elementary School buildings are in poor condition except for the 2014 safe room used for PE and the 1991 cafeteria. The cafeteria’s roof and HVAC systems are near the end of life and need replacement. The district is replacing the cafeteria HVAC system using ESSER funds during the summer of 2022 and plans to submit a Partnership Program project to replace the roof in the 2025-2027 project funding cycle.

At the district’s request, the Division conducted a Facility Condition Index (FCI) inspection at H. L. Lubker Elementary School on August 27, 2019. The Division computed an FCI value of 0.858 for the Special Education Building and 0.925 for the Kindergarten/Library Building. The Division computed an FCI value of .789 for the Elementary Main Building. For all buildings, the Division recognized that most major systems were at or near end of life and needed replacement. Generally, when the FCI exceeds 0.65 it is more prudent to replace rather than renovate or repair.

There are numerous condition issues in the elementary buildings that affect warm, safe, and dry conditions and the adequacy of educational programs.

  • All classrooms in the main elementary school building are 750 square feet or 775 square feet, below the state standard of 850 square feet. The undersized classrooms impact the district’s ability to place allowed numbers of students in the classrooms and negatively impact the learning environment.

  • The Special Education Building and Kindergarten/Library Building have more than depleted their building values, and the building value of the 1976 main building will be 0% in 2026.

  • There are numerous plumbing issues for both sewer and water supply. Toilets often back up and there was a recent sewer line failure immediately outside of the building. Toilet fixtures need replacement and most restrooms are not ADA compliant. 

  • The electrical service is outdated and not adequate to meet the school’s instructional technology and power needs.

  • Recently hallway floor tiles have begun to pop up and crack, indicating structural settlement issues.

  • There are safety and security issues at the school with dispersed buildings. The PE safe room and cafeteria are adjacent to the three main elementary school buildings and could be incorporated into a new replacement building. However, the media center and fine arts classrooms are dispersed and require a walk across campus, exposing students to security risks.

  • Although the roof and most HVAC units were replaced approximately six years ago, those systems are reaching mid-life, and the main building is experiencing roof leaks during rainfall events. The elementary main building experiences water coming up from the floor along the rubber base of interior walls during large rain events. 

  • As noted above, when the FCI exceeds 0.65 it is more prudent to replace rather than renovate or repair.  An FCI greater than 0.65 means the cost of renovations and repairs is more than 65% of the cost of a new replacement building.  All three elementary buildings have an FCI greater than this standard.

  • As shown below, it is more prudent to replace than renovate the three main elementary school buildings.

Building

Estimated Repair Costs

Building Size (SF)

Estimated Addition Costs

Facility Condition Index

Elementary

$3.8 million (1)

30,346

$5.2 million (2)

0.72

Special Education

-

12,068

-

0.858 (3)

Kindergarten / Library

-

11,132

-

0.925 (3)

Notes –

(1) System replacement costs from the 2020 Master Plan web tool Tab 12 condition ratings for year 1-20

(2) Building size times the Division academic core addition cost factor for Batesville ($172.59 per square foot)

(3) Computed by the Division on August 27, 2019

Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation FCI Evaluations

Based on the above discussion, the Division approved a Partnership Program project for the 2021-2023 project funding cycle to replace the H. L. Lubker Elementary School Buildings. The District received $5,173,114.76 in state financial participation for this project.  The Partnership Program that provides state funding to school districts for approved projects is competitive on a two-year cycle.  Receiving state funds in one cycle is not a guarantee of receiving funds in a future cycle. For the 2021-2023 funding cycle, 36 projects requesting approximately $20 million from the state were not funded.

Campus and Site

The overall campus and site have needs that must be addressed in order to provide the best warm, safe, and dry conditions and overall educational opportunities for students.

  • The school continues to have unsafe conditions with overhead power lines in the

    center of campus. Based on other priorities at the time, the district rescinded the Partnership Program project that would have relocated these lines. The district plans to relocate and/or bury these power lines with a Division-approved Partnership Program project. The District received $780,963.47 in state financial participation for this project.

  • The district’s football field needs renovations and upgrades. The district plans to replace the turf, field lights, and fencing, and make drainage improvements with a self-funded project in the next few years.

Building Fund Balance

The District Building Fund balance as of the end of April is approximately $3,900,000. These funds are being managed in order to provide the district’s local share for substantial maintenance of buildings and self-funded building projects. 

The District will utilize the Academic Facilities Partnership Program’s state financial participation for the H. L. Lubker Elementary Building Replacement project and the Power Line Relocation project. It is estimated that the district’s local share of the Elementary School Building Replacement project will be approximately $19.3 million, based on Partnership Program state financial participation. To fund the remaining balance of the project, the district will require an approved special election to (1) extend the existing 13.5 debt service mills for 23 additional years, (2) increase debt service mills by 5.75 mills, and (3) refinance four existing bond issues. If passed, the total millage rate in the district will be 44.25 mills. This will be levied at the end of 2022 and collected in 2023. The combined millage for debt service is expected to generate the $19.3 million needed in project funds.

The District has been and will continue to be dedicated to providing suitable, adequate, and well-maintained buildings. The district is appreciative of the Division’s continued support of the public school students in the District.