FWCS Starts Process For Building Renovations

By Maureen Mespell

August 27, 2012 Updated Aug 27, 2012 at 10:17 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- It's an overwhelming task to manage construction projects at 36-schools.

That's what the chief financial officer for Fort Wayne Community Schools argued before the school board Monday night. The district voted 6-1 to hire an out of town firm to oversee the multi-million dollar renovation process.

Chief Financial Officer Kathy Friend says the Fort Wayne Community School district's facilities staff is too small to handle the overwhelming task.

Last year, voters supported a $119 million tax levy to fund desperately-needed repairs at dozens of school buildings.

One of the first projects to tackle is the old boiler systems at Snider High School and Memorial Park and Harrison Hill Elementary Schools.

Although the firm Friend wants to use is based in Washington, D.C., she says its people who would work for the district are from Dublin, Ohio, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.

She says the district needs the additional support to get started right away. "This is going to require that we do requests for proposals, to hire architects and engineers, and there's a lot of activity that needs to happen immediately so that we're prepared to get bids out so that we can start work in the spring."

Friend asked the board Monday night to approve an initial contract of $250,000.

If the district decides to ask the consulting firm to get more involved or offer more assistance, that price tag could reach upwards of a million dollars.

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