Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Have you noticed how compared to last year's referendum, where we were inundated with details, facts, and figures, that this year's specifics are rather late in coming or hard to come by?
While I did not agree with all the mailings and new kiosks full of papers last year (because it was expensive), having some of that information online was very helpful. Clear, concise information makes it easier for voters to discern if the plan had merit. This year, I find details, facts, and figures hard to come by.
There is a lot of controversy over how much is being spent on athletics. What even constitutes new athletic space? It is not the new gyms and related areas according to Dr. Gibson
Yesterday I had a pro referendum resident call me (first call so far) about my stating, "nearly $21 million dollars, over 1/3 of the total cost" was for Athletic/Physical Education portion of the referendum. The caller sent me the following information via email.
(To be fair, I have not received verification of its authenticity yet with CGSchmidt. I did send them an email with many HVAC questions, but have not had a reply--it was just sent yesterday. Foster's email was forwarded to the resident by Glen Allgaier though, and so I am confident it is accurate. FYI, I would have posted a correction yesterday but our internet/phone has been out. I am only able to be online now because my techno-child fixed me up with a cell phone connection today.)
I spoke with John Foster at CGSchmidt and the following is the explanation
"The summary of physical education costs ($20,983,755) on 17 December included both new construction ($15,799,267 million) and renovation ($5.2 million) of existing physical education spaces at the two high schools. The $5.2 million renovation costs are associated with the HVAC ("mechanicals") upgrade being done at both schools and corresponds to the "square footage share" of the existing physical education spaces (gyms, pools, locker rooms, etc.) much of which are converted into academic space. There are no other significant changes being made to the existing physical education spaces. Note that the 17 December information also includes the separate breakout of mechanicals without allocating them to existing physical education space separately."
So, according to John Foster at CGSchmidt, the real cost assigned to the new physical education facilities for the referendum are $15.8 million dollars. Still over 1/4th of the total referendum costs I told the resident. I posted this in a correction on Brookfield7 yesterday and then did some errands, intending to post something like this piece later. Alas, no internet and techno-child not home either :(
Then last night a friend called me (cell) and said there was a news brief on Brookfieldnow. Did I see it? No, no internet, I said. This is the explanation from the Community Watch:
On Friday, CG Schmidt said the $21 million figure ($20,983,755) for athletics and physical education includes that department's share of the total building's new mechanicals and other costs, such as insurance and fees for the architect, construction manager and owner's representative ($2,816,730).
CG Schmidt said if mechanicals and the other costs are removed, the total amount of money being spent on athletics and physical education is $18,167,025.
About $14 million of the $18 million will be to build new gyms... (I think this is the Dr. Gibson gym only figure.)
Note that the email from Foster states the HVAC removed from athletics adds up to $5.2mil. and new construction was nearly $15.8 mil.
"The summary of physical education costs ($20,983,755) on 17 December included both new construction ($15,799,267 million) and renovation ($5.2 million) of existing physical education spaces at the two high schools. The $5.2 million renovation costs are associated with the HVAC ("mechanicals") upgrade being done at both schools and corresponds to the "square footage share" of the existing physical education spaces (gyms, pools, locker rooms, etc.) much of which are converted into academic space.
Is it any wonder we are all confused?
To me, there seems to be so many unknowns with this referendum*. I think we have some idea of the athletics expenses--somewhere between 1/4th and 1/3rd of the cost, depending how you look at it.
What was more startling to me was the HVAC portion of the existing gym related areas. $5.2 million? WOW, that is a lot of loot.
If the gym areas are $5.2 million, how much to replace the whole system and air condition both schools? I emailed Andy Smith, Tom Gehl, and Glen Allgier that question.
Stay tuned for: Double, Double Toil and Trouble; $26mil's a lot to make boilers chill & bubble
Maybe the slogan for this referendum should be: ACADEMICS, NOT AIR CONDITIONING AND ATHLETICS!
*Normally, I would have sat on this until I received confirmation, but in light of the April 1st election, I thought you should know. If I hear otherwise, I will post correction.
Elmbrook School District Referendum Links:
Frequently Asked Questions Not to be missed!
Former 2007 Referendum Facilities Facts Sheets (Still a good read)
The countdown continues: Just 3 days until MILLIONS OF DOLLARS Tuesday!
Email me your thoughts on the $62.2 million dollar referendum.