LAMPASAS — School officials met for a special budget workshop Monday night, identifying the current needs of the district and outlining future capital improvement projects for facility maintenance and operations.

The 2013-2014 fiscal budget projection of $26,257,570 is expected to remain similar to last year, with a slight increase of $123,386 for functional and operational expenses.

Trustees and school officials examined the district’s operational expenses for the next six years in an attempt to balance the district’s growing needs in a fiscal environment affected by shrinking state funds.

“The six-year plan is simply that — it’s a plan,” Superintendent Randall Hoyer said. “We identify all capital projects and this starts a dialogue to start prioritizing what we may want to approach this year or next year.”

Board members were unified in identifying issues that directly affect students and staff, agreeing that an immediate priority is to reserve funds for improvements at Hanna Springs Elementary.

Repairs to roofing and HVAC system upgrades are estimated at more than $1 million. LISD Chief Financial Officer Shane Jones said the numbers discussed in the workshop are “just placeholders” signifying potential costs and should only be considered ballpark estimates for now.

“We’re in a phase of doing an engineering study to determine our options at Hanna Springs Elementary,” Jones said. “We’re trying to prepare for the work we anticipate next year, so it’s difficult to know exactly what that will cost. We hope to have the engineering report back by the end of August and present it to the board at their September meeting.”

Other potential projects identified in the meeting were expanding the high school field house, resurfacing the turf at the Lampasas Middle School athletic track and preparing for computer technology upgrades.

The district anticipates an increase in the use of online testing services for students, a move that will require server upgrades and system hardware necessary to support increased usage, Jones said.

To finalize the budget, district officials are calculating salary expenses after last year’s early resignation incentive program resulted in a high staff turnover rate.

Also Monday, the board approved Hoyer offering contracts to four new teachers, and these salaries will be calculated into the final report. Jones said the budget will be finalized and presented to the board for adoption before the end of August.

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