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Logan Elm Local School District News Article

Budget Surpluses Pave Way for Capital Improvements at Logan Elm

               As buses rolled onto Tarlton Road after the last day of the 2023-24 school year, heavy equipment pulled into the Logan Elm campus for the next round of capital improvements.  Projects to be completed this summer include new and renovated athletic fields, McDowell Education Center roof replacement, additional parking, and a walking path for school and community use.  These and previous projects were made possible by recent budget surpluses.

               Logan Elm does not have a tax levy for permanent improvements.  “Because of that, our campus had gradually fallen into a state of disrepair,” explained Superintendent Tim Williams.  “School buildings had either reached the end of their useful life or were in need of significant repairs, parking lots were crumbling, and athletic fields needed addressed,” he added.  

               A bond levy approved by voters in November 2018 provided for the construction of a new PK-12 school, but could not be used to improve the McDowell Education Center, Logan Elm Stadium or surrounding areas.  “Fortunately, conservative financial management, COVID relief funds, and property reappraisal increases led to operating budget surpluses the last several years,” explained Treasurer Steve McAfee.  The Board of Education acted to transfer those surpluses to a fund restricted for Capital Projects.  “It was a prudent decision by the Board to earmark these surpluses for capital projects, as opposed to adding expenses to the annual operating budget that might not be sustainable in the future,” added McAfee.  “The timing couldn’t have been better as the funds are enabling us to improve the campus surrounding the new school, positioning our facilities to serve students and the community well for decades to come,” stated Williams.

               Projects that have already been completed include new parking lots and driveways for McDowell and the Stadium, McDowell HVAC replacement, and renovating the old metals shop into a fieldhouse.  “The parking lots and HVAC system were long overdue projects. The fieldhouse was needed to replace locker and weight rooms previously housed in the old high school that was demolished.  Our Athletic Boosters graciously donated new weight equipment to finish what is now an outstanding training facility,” explained Williams.   The District has also been purchasing at least two new buses annually with Capital Projects funds to maintain its fleet of 21 buses on daily routes and 12 spares.

               A project to improve existing athletic fields and create new fields has begun.  Contractor Field Source is removing existing grass from Logan Elm Stadium, crowning the field, replacing the irrigation system, installing sod, and overseeing field maintenance so it is ready for the fall.  They will also improve the existing band practice field and create new middle school baseball and softball fields in front of McDowell.   “This is an exciting project that will greatly improve the durability of our fields and keep more of our student-athletes on campus to practice and compete,” stated Williams.

               Damschroder Roofing will soon begin a roof replacement project at McDowell.  They will add 3” of insulation and a PVC roof membrane.  “Although this project isn’t as exciting as some of the others, it’s just as important.  We need to replace the existing roof that is 25 years old to keep McDowell dry so it can continue to be used for offices, athletics and auxiliary programs, and be available for classrooms should our student enrollment increase substantially in the future,” explained McAfee.

               The other big projects this summer are the completion of a new parking lot east of the center driveway with 80 additional spaces and a ¾-mile walking path along the west and south boundaries of the Logan Elm campus.  “We need more parking near the new school both during the school day and for evening events.  And the walking path will provide a great opportunity for both students and community members to enjoy the outdoors and improve their health,” explained Williams.   “We can’t wait for our residents to come take a walk around campus and see firsthand the return on their investments,” added McAfee.

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