Schools in Trouble If Reserves Taken Away - 8 News NOW

Schools in Trouble If Reserves Taken Away

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LAS VEGAS -- Nevada lawmakers hope to find ways to free up some money and create jobs, all while renovating older schools in the Clark County School District.

CCSD's main concern is $300 million in the district's bond reserves that could be taken if the governor has his way. It also worries about what it would mean for the district's future ability to fund capital programs on a high priority list, like Fremont Middle School.

The school is basically falling apart and in need of major repair. If the bonds are taken away, the school will not get the help it needs.

"This unit itself is the main component to running air conditioning in the building and literally inside of here, because it's so rusted and old, we have a boulder in there covering one of the holes because there is no fixing anymore. It's beyond repair. The only thing we can do is replace the unit -- $20,000 plus to replace this unit," said Fremont Principal Antonio Real.

Real has been the principal at Fremont for the last three years. The air conditioning unit is one of the many reasons, he says, the school needs to be torn down and rebuilt.

Showers in the locker rooms are now storage rooms. They can't be used because of mold that was once there, causing the ceilings to be town down.

It's these type of projects that could be put on the back burner if that $300 million in reserves are taken and used for a huge payment to the states general fund. The district worries it would keep future bonds from being voted on.

"Roughly $300 million is what's targeted and he expects to be able to pull it out of the reserve in the bonds. Those reserves are there for a specific purpose, which is to demonstrate that we will be able to pay the debt service even if times are tough," said CCSD Associate Superintendent of Facilities Paul Gerner.

Fremont Middle School is one of 13 schools that could benefit from future bonds. If the proposed School Works legislation were to pass, the chair of the Ways and Means Committee says smaller school districts would stand to benefit faster than larger ones, like the CCSD, because she says Clark County clearly needs to hang onto their bond reserves to make sure they can cover their debt.

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