School Board hires a consulting firm for the facilities plan | Government and politics
ADELLA HARDING Elko Daily Correspondent
ELKO – MGT Consulting will develop a master plan for the facilities of the Elko County School District more than 20 years after the original plan took effect to provide a fresh outside view of the schools in the district and their needs.
MGT offered to update the plan by November for $231,045, and the Elko County school board voted Feb. 8 to hire the company, administrator Jeff Durham from West Wendover voting alone in opposition.
He said he saw no need to spend money on information the district has or could get on its own.
“I really struggle to see the value,” and the money could instead go to “something we need, like a roof,” Durham said.
Trustee Dr Joshua Byers said a third party would provide “another set of eyes”, and trustee Susan Neal agreed on the need for outside help.
Construction and operations manager Casey Kelly said “it would be nice to have a third pair of eyes to look at it” and “it would be nice to see what they come up with”.
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He also said earlier in the chat – after admin Ira Wines asked him “for his perspective since you’re our resident expert” – that the staff would have the resources to come up with the plan, but it would be in addition other tasks and will probably take three years.
Kelly said in January that the consultant’s work would provide transparency to the public for future construction and improvement projects in the event the school board decides to go back to voters for construction funding. He repeated on February 8 that transparency is another reason for consultants.
The school district proposed a bond issue in 2021 because the apportionment had failed in 2020, but voters rejected the bond issue in December.
The consulting firm’s money can come from pay-as-you-go funds, Kelly said. The district will have $18 million in pay-as-you-go funds to spend before the 75-cent tax expires on June 30 due to voters’ rejection of the tax renewal, but that includes spending on ongoing projects. .
Administrator Matt McCarty asked consultants to be careful in their travels for site visits and that they not take up too much time with employees, but that all facilities still have the opportunity to have site visits. face to face consultants.
“We are not obligated to do exactly as they plan to do,” Acting Superintendent Clayton Anderson said. “They work for us once they’re hired.”
Once the master plan is complete, a committee of volunteers will review the results, and Neal pointed out that “they don’t get paid.”
McCarty also said MGT should use conservative numbers because enrollment numbers of around 10,000 students have been “pretty stable over the past 10 years.”
In the letter accompanying MGT’s proposal, Robert Holloway, senior vice president of market development and chief strategy officer for the Tampa, Fla.-based company, wrote that “as a leading management consulting firm , we offer the Elko County School District the stability of an organization and a team with extensive experience in facility planning projects and a reputation for exceeding client expectations.
He also wrote that MGT has a team of education planners who “understand firsthand the importance of a well-developed facility plan.”
The proposal states that MGT will “maintain constant communication with ECSD to review and monitor the facilities plan as it progresses,” and that the consulting team will develop a plan that meets student needs and identifies the costs.
“The final plan will allow ESCD to maximize the use of real estate while making informed decisions about future needs. Several strategies will be considered as installation options – this includes new construction, additions, consolidation, renovations, repurposing facilities, redevelopment, changing the delivery, location or number of programs, changing registration practices and other creative solutions to ensure the future success of ESCD,” the company wrote.
Additionally, the facilities plan will include graphical representations of all data to help communicate with the community, according to MGT.