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FHSD Board of Education Discusses the Future of Prop S on Jan. 20

Chief+Operating+Officer+Kevin+Supple+proposed+a+couple+options+on+how+to+move+forward+with+the+project.+The+FHSD+Board+of+Education+met+on+Dec.+7+to+discuss+the+increase+in+building+costs+for+FHN.+

Credit to Kyle Button

Chief Operating Officer Kevin Supple proposed a couple options on how to move forward with the project. The FHSD Board of Education met on Dec. 7 to discuss the increase in building costs for FHN.

By Ray Hathcock and Chloe Ellison

On Jan. 20 the FHSD Board of Education met to discuss the finances and future of Prop S, along with other a couple other major topics. Concerned members of the community were given the opportunity to speak up during the patron comments to express their concerns on Prop S and how it has progressed so far. Not only did speakers express their concern about the price of the new FHN building, but also how there won’t be enough money to help many other buildings in the school district. Community members believe that they want to be told truthfully how much money should be going into the new FHN.

“I urge the board to, again, insist the estimates are included in these spending memos to the board,” Randy Cook said during the patron comments on Jan. 20.

The projected budget of Prop S, when it was passed in 2020, was $244 million with the FHN building taking up about $86.5 million or roughly one-thirds of the budget. Recently the projected price of the FHN building has risen to $164.7 million, now taking out ⅔ of the budget. This great increase in price has led to most of the other schools in the district to receive less aid in repairing their buildings. 

“The highschool went from consuming ⅓ of the bond’s budget, to ⅔ of the bond’s budget,” Chris Brooks said during the patron comments on Jan. 20, “There’s about 100 million [dollars] of work that needs to be done.”

Despite the concerns in price, the construction of FHN has continued to prevail against many objections. Recently in the construction of the new FHN building, the slabs were put in and the foundation is being built. One of the biggest concerns expressed is that there are no unbiased opinions to give the community a real estimate of the building’s price.

“We want someone independent, not involved with the existing project that will come in, and say ‘Here’s what [you] did wrong, and here’s how [you’re] going to do it better next time,” Brooks said.

For more information on Prop S, go to https://fhntoday.com/2021/12/09/fhsd-board-of-education-met-on-dec-7-to-discuss-the-construction-of-the-new-fhn-building-and-cost-increases/

For more information on the construction timeline, go to https://fhntoday.com/2021/10/20/the-new-francis-howell-north-building-is-set-to-open-in-fall-of-2024/