Kyrene board approves 2014-15 budget - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Kyrene board approves 2014-15 budget

District to repair access lanes for buses, fire trucks

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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:45 pm | Updated: 9:44 am, Tue Aug 26, 2014.

Kyrene School District’s governing board gave the OK to fix some critical roadways at several schools when it approved the 2014-15 Proposed Budget and Identification of Insurance and Condemnation Proceeds by a 3-1 vote during Tuesday evening’s governing board meeting.

Jeremy Calles, chief financial officer, opened the meeting with a brief synopsis of the proposed budget and explained what types of projects would be done at schools across the district.

One of the major projects Calles discussed during the meeting was the adjacent ways project, which would focus on repairing the entrance ways of schools so buses and fire trucks could enter the school with minimal disturbance.

The funding for the adjacent ways project would come from the primary tax rate.

Calles showed photos of the cracked concrete at schools around the district that would need to be replaced.

One photo shown was from Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School’s fire lane, which showed visible separation from the concrete.

“What we would be proposing here is to tear up the slab to get that back in order,” Calles said. “There has been shifting that’s occurred with some of the slabs on some of these fire lanes.”

He said the adjacent ways would also further safety for children who walk the school grounds on a daily basis.

“When we are looking at these items in terms of safety, it’s more of a tripping hazard for students. When we are looking at the fire lanes at our schools, a lot of the times kids are running up and down the fire lanes … so when there are cracks on the concrete and it’s not at the same level, a child running is prone to trip when the concrete isn’t at the same level,” Calles said.

Board member John King said that in some of the photos, it seemed as if fixing the adjacent ways could be more about the students’ safety than the buses and fire trucks entering the school’s property.

Calles said the 2014-15 offers the best time to address the adjacent ways because of the decline of the secondary tax rate and the fact that the district’s debt service payments are lower than normal.

“Because our debt service payments are lower than normal, it makes it easier for us to afford to address it this year than next year,” he said.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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