Cheney Free Press -


Cheney adopts construction scope and budget policies


November 9, 2017

The Cheney school board of directors adopted several policies at their Oct. 25 meeting dealing with implementation of upcoming construction work at three elementary schools and the high school.

The first was the second reading and final adoption of new policy 6940, “Capital Program/Project Scope and Budget,” introduced at an Oct. 18 special board meeting.

With regards to the scope of projects, the policy requires board approval for documents in all phases of design and increases to a project’s building square footage or envisioned site improvements planned in a capital bond measure. The district superintendent or another designated official will present the board options and recommendations addressing these conditions, and the board may, at its discretion, “reallocate resources within the program to a specific project to meet the District’s programmatic and educational goals and objectives.”

The same procedure applies to the budget portion of the policy regarding presentation of options and the ability to move funds from one project to another, or within specific projects, from the “owner’s program management reserve funds.” The board must also approve all capital and/or individual project budgets at each phase of design and prior to moving to the next phase.

The board followed this with its first approval under the new policy of the budget for the upcoming $54.2 million construction work, funded by bonds approved by voters in February. District Director of Finance Kassidy Probert said the budget proposal presented by construction management firm OAC included $545,000 of interest revenue as a line item, but did not include any possible state matching funds.

The board also adopted a resolution removing 20,850 square feet of instructional space from the high school’s space inventory and replace it with a “Building New-in-Lieu” provision. The resolution is needed to comply with the state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s requirements that districts seeking to use state matching funds build new in lieu of modernizing existing facilities and remove the old space from their inventories.

“This will allow us to apply for the new state matching funds,” Superintendent Rob Roettger said.

Under the bond proposal, there was a potential to obtain approximately $2 million in unhoused student funding for use with the high school’s estimated $35.1 million budget. Since then, OAC and architects with ALSC have discovered additional square footage in preliminary schematic designs that could qualify the district for an additional $5 million in state match.

In the final piece of new business, the board held the first reading of a revised policy determining when the board can call executive or closed sessions. Associate Superintendent Sean Dotson pointed out that a new section was added dealing with state law requirements for disclosing any data breaches, allowing a closed session to be called if the information to be discussed could compromises the existing system and reveal any vulnerabilities if made public.

The only other change to the policy was a caveat to the allowed closed or executive session to discuss the minimum price of real estate to be offered for sale or lease. The addition stipulates that “discussion of the factors comprising the minimum value of the property” be held in open public meeting.

John McCallum can be reached at


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