The Wenatchee School District is transferring $1.5 million into a fund to cover cost overruns for its new softball field, and to cover costs such as building repairs. 

The money is being moved from the general fund to the capital projects fund. 

Superintendent Kory Kalahar says there's a reason the transfer is necessary. "We currently do not have a source for our capital projects fund, which has been mentioned now a couple of times," said Kalahar. "And I think that that's important." 

The district is working with partners to create a plan to set aside more money for capital projects, including repairs to its aging infrastructure such as roofs and HVAC systems. 

Kalahar told the school board at its meeting this week that a "long term facilities plan" needs to be completed and moved forward. 

A three-year average of capital project spending is $593,000 and a five-year average is $829,000 according to numbers compiled by district staff. 

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A facilities survey and study were conducted in 2023 and adopted by the school board earlier this year. 

A long-term facilities plan, when it happens, will be intended to facilitate movement of money to cover the five- and eight-year cost averages for capital projects. 

School board member Martin Barron says it'll be important to fix the current funding shortage for capital projects. 

"At the moment, the capital fund reserves are depleted," said Barron. "It is urgent, and I urge that we take an initiative to raise funds and replenish them. And I'm glad to see that that is a topic for the long-term facilities committee." 

The resolution approved by the school board this week transfers $1.5 million from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund to cover extra costs for the soft ball field and short-term capital projects costs. 

The Wenatchee School District’s projected August 31, 2024, ending fund balance would be $16,479,687 before the transfer and after the transfer would be $14,979,687. 

The numbers are figured at the end of August because the school district's next fiscal year starts on September 1. 

The softball field is being built after the district was cited for violations of the Title IX Act of 1972, which requires the equal treatment of male and female athletes. 

The district is required to correct the violation. Previously, $4 million was set aside for the softball field and cannot be used other expenses such as covering budget shortfalls the district has been dealing with. 

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