In addition, he said the district spent close to $200,000 on upgrading the electrical system and wiring in the facility. Ferguson said the school had some wiring that was 25 years old, which “wasn’t appropriate [and] wasn’t designed for this teaching environment.”
Just under $100,000 was spent on finding and updating gas lines and old clay sewage pipes, all of which had to be rerouted.
“There have been so many iterations of Garner School and [sewer pipes and gas lines] remained from all those,” Ferguson said.
The $2 million bond adds 9 cents per $100 of taxable property value, bringing the school district’s tax to $1.10 this year, according to Ferguson. He added that the board of trustees carved out another $200,000 from the district’s fund balance to offset any additional expenses.
Additional furnishings for the building have come inexpensively, through auctions, and one big donation of Hon office storage equipment from Jacobs Engineering. Jacobs, which acquired Carter & Burgess in 2007, did not need its metal filing drawers, magnet boards and cabinets in the Fort Worth office. A trustee, who works for the company, helped engineer the massive donation.
Additional funds have come from a $5,000 Lowes’ grant, which will allow the district to purchase trees and seeding plants, and from a $3,000 Texas Association of School Boards’ grant to improve security.
As classrooms are ready, Ferguson will call teachers, telling them they can come in. He said he locked them out for the summer and told teachers to enjoy their summer vacation.
There are still things Ferguson said the district would like to do. With more money it could add more classrooms. But he said they accomplished what they set out to do – including moving the science center, special education and art classroom out of the oldest building, which still houses district administration.
“I feel we’ve met our commitment to voters and are doing what we said we would do,” he said. “I hope people will see we are a forward-looking community that cares.”