District 1 looks at revamping lot
The Yuma Elementary School District governing board unanimously approved the use of right-of-way funds for parking lot improvements at Castle Dome Middle School.
Chief Financial Officer Kerry Jones said that after 24th Street was widened some years ago, the city condemned a portion of district property abutting 24th Street to provide a right of way for the project.
Jones said that as of Jan. 2, there was $92,647.99 in the school district's Condemnation Fund deposited by the county treasurer. The Castle Dome project, he said, is estimated to cost around $80,000 and will consist of widening the entrance lane, separating student drop-off traffic and bus traffic flows as well as lengthening the student drop-off area. Jones said the improvements will help alleviate a lot of the congestion from the narrow entrance lane off of Otondo Drive.
Superintendent Darwin Stiffler said they are working to approve other improvement projects with the city for McGraw, Roosevelt and Sunrise elementary schools.
He noted that they are especially monitoring the situation at McGraw and working with the city to improve traffic flow for that campus. Stiffler said that because of the traffic situations there, they have placed numerous crossing guards to ensure safety.
In other meeting news, Roosevelt Principal Sophia Ramirez highlighted various programs on her campus, which included information about a backpack program through the Yuma Community Food Bank.
YCFB president and CEO Mike Ivers said they have written a Community Development Block Grant to expand their program to Yuma at Roosevelt, Carver, Pecan Grove elementary schools as well as Fourth Avenue Junior High.
Ramirez went on to say that they are seeing growth in all grade levels on the Galileo exams on her campus.
During the budget report, Jones noted that while the district is in good shape, fuel expenditures in transportation are $196,000 higher than at this point last year as the average price per gallon of fuel has increased 26 percent. Another concern, he said, is spending $62,000 more than last year for maintenance and repairs on an aging bus fleet.
Jones added that they're looking to apply for a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency that would provide $25,000 for five new buses.