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CVU School Board OK’s $21.9 million proposed budget Turf field bond proposal back on Town Meeting ballot

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CVU School Board OK’s $21.9 million proposed budget Turf field bond proposal back on Town Meeting ballot

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By Gail Callahan

The Champlain Valley Union (CVU) High School Board approved a $21,983,502 budget proposal for 2015-16, a financial package two percent lower than the current voter-approved $22,403,334 spending plan. While that’s good news, Chittenden South Supervisory Union (CSSU) officials pointed out that revenue figures will probably fall through special education consolidation at the SU level. Also, the board pared back the $22,109,980 baseline budget presented last month and approved three decision packets made by administration.

  • State stipulated dual enrollment, $32,000
  • Transportation spending plan (aligning it with genuine payouts), $8,000
  • Chromebooks, $30,000

Income figures are projected to decrease due to the implementation of a 2010 measure approved by the state legislature, consolidating all special education costs at SU level. Additionally, special education spending and staffing will occur at CSSU, which will disperse the cost of those services to all SU schools.

Turf field bond

CVU board members approved a $700,000 bond proposal for the March Town Meeting ballot to fund the installation of one synthetic turf field. Board members Marilyn Richardson and Liz Cravedi opposed the measure. Initially, the board considered sending a $950,000 bond plan to voters, but the panel voted 6-3 against the higher figure.

The condition of the current fields, which has led to cancellations of athletic events and practices, has been a topic of heated discussion. In September 2011, the board commissioned a study, evaluating the school’s playing grounds.

School Commissioner Jeanne Jensen pointed out that two committees studied proposals on how to fix the water-plagued fields. Both groups separately concluded an artificial turf field would be the best option, but the expensive price tag concerned some board members.

A layer of clay holds up water drainage from the area after severe wet weather. By the middle of last May, CVU sporting teams saw about a dozen postponements and cancellations along with an array of parking lot practice exercises.

Interim athletic director

Former CVU boys’ soccer coach Pete Coffey has been named the school’s interim athletic director. Coffey steps into the position held by Kevin Riell, a Shelburne resident, who died last month. The school has yet to advertise the permanent position on SchoolSpring, a national website advertising educational jobs.

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