Budget, building update part of board meeting


Information on the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget for Wayne Community Schools was shared with board members during a special hearing and in the regular portion of the board's meeting on Monday.

Wayne Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan provided the board with numbers for the upcoming budget, including those associated with the recently passed school bond issue.  He said legislation passed by the state legislature in the last session "saved the taxpayers of the district approximately $960,000."

With the district's property valuation increasing 11%, the new levy, which includes the General Fund, Building Funds and Bond Funds, will be $1.0195, which is $0.03 lower than the 2022-2023 budget.

Dr. Lenihan said the district ended the last fiscal year with nearly $1.8 million in cash reserves, which is approximately two months worth of expenses. This number is higher than how the district ended the last fiscal year.

"I feel comfortable with this budget," Dr. Lenhan said.

Following the special hearing, board members approved the 2023-2024 Wayne Community Schools District Budget and the 2023-2024 Wayne Community Schools Property Tax Request Resolution.

Steve Thiele with Hausmann Construction and Bob Soukup with CWP gave a detailed update on the Building Project.

Thiele said he "expects to see dirt moving in 30 days."

He said bid tabulations are coming in and his firm is working through budget feedback. He told the board that a guaranteed maximum price should be determined by the board's October meeting.

Soukup showed board members updated renderings of the Pre-K through second grade building, including the color scheme used throughout the building. He said a number of construction items have been pre-ordered and talked about several options that are not part of the actual construction package. Photos of specific features in the new building were also part of his presentation.

Board members set Monday, Oct. 9 as the date for a ground breaking for the project. The event will take place prior to the regular monthly board meeting.

In other action, board members approved on first reading Policy 5201 which involves the procedures for early graduation.

Board members said they would like updates on numbers of students taking advantage of the opportunity, rather than specifics.

During administrators' report, information was provided on the number of students enrolled in each of the classes at the junior and senior high level and the results of several federal and state reports for special education students in the district.

Dr. Lenihan also provided enrollment numbers for the entire district.

At this time there are 1,002 students in Pre-K through 12th grade with an additional 12 students being served in the birth to two year old program. Discussion was held on the number of students on the waiting list to attend the Pre-K classes.

During his report, Foundation Director Rusty Parker shared information on recent fundraisers for the Foundation. These included a tailgate at the first home football game, the 19th annual Murray Fishing Tournament and the staff giving campaign.

Parker also noted some of the work that has gone into updating the alumni mailing list. The donation request letters will be mailed out in the near future.

The final agenda item at Monday's meeting was a closed session update on a Facility Committee meeting with the City of Wayne.

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, Oct. 9 following the ground breaking ceremony for the new Early Learning Center. That begins at 5 p.m. at the site west of the Wayne Community Activity Center.