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By Abbie Lennox
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

The Ingham Intermediate School District Board of Education held its general meeting Tuesday, receiving the annual audit report and discussing renovations planned for the Capital Area Career Center.

The 2011-12 audit was conducted by Maner Costerisan and presented by Bruce Dunn, CPA. Included in the audit, which ended June 30, 2012, was the full report on financial statements. Two of the largest increases in cost for the district were programs for special education and free and reduced lunches for students.

“The number of students eligible for free and reduced lunches has increased drastically,” Dunn said.

Despite the large increases in cost for some programs, Dunn said that overall, the 2011-12 year was a great financial year for the district.

“Your district personnel keeps a budget, makes adjustments throughout the year, and pulls together the final budget,” Dunn said to the board. “That’s not easy for a $100 million organization.”

The board accepted the 2011-12 audit as presented and moved on to discussion regarding contracts and budgets for the planned renovations to the Capital Area Career Center.

Helen McNamara, business and finance director for the district, presented the proposed contracts for renovations to be completed in the summer of 2013.

“We would execute a contract with The Christman Company for construction management services,” said McNamara.

The total amount for this contract would be $175,408, and would be paid for using the ARRA bond and capital projects fund.

“I would add that this represents about a 2.6 percent construction cost, and equates to the direct fees part, and indirect or reimbursement of expenses,” said McNamara.

After minor debate over the specific cost of commercial liability on the contract, the board passed the action item unanimously, authorizing the superintendent to execute a contract with the company. The board will come back to this item in November to review and further discuss the contract.

The board also discussed a design services contract as part of the renovations to the Capital Area Career Center.

“This is a design services contract with Hobbs and Black,” said McNamara. “This encompasses architectural design and mechanical, engineering, and plumbing renovations at the career center.”

The board debate the exact amount to authorize. The original contract was limited to $204,000, leaving some board members in question of whether to pass the item.

David Robinson, board treasurer, asked, “$204,000 equates to what numbers? I’m not going to get in the way, I just thought I would ask. It’s just the whole thing might be around $300,000. So if we all understand that that’s what it could be, then we just go forward on that basis.”

Superintendent Stan Kogut agreed, saying that the exact financials on the contract needed to be discussed.

“That would be a 50 percent differential we’re talking about, we would have to come back to the board,” said Kogut.

Despite the dialogue, the board passed the authorization to execute a design services contract with Hobbs and Black, saying it would look further into the numbers to be presented in November.

Other items that were passed during the meeting included authorizing the single-source purchase of student assessment testing sets and scoring services for ACT, Inc. at $54,155.50, and a contract for school to work transition services for the special education program through Peckham’s School Transition to Work services, amounting to $68,000 for the 2012-13 school year.

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