Maintenance required for possible expansion at charter school

Oakland officials are committing funds to make multiple necessary corrections to declining structural conditions at Oakland Avenue Charter School.

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The town of Oakland wants its charter school to reach the original charter level of 700 students, so an expansion is necessary. But before money can be spent on expanding the Oakland Avenue Charter School campus, funds need to be invested in making some repairs and replacements.

OACS Principal Pam Dwyer and Town Manager Steve Koontz presented a capital expenditure plan to the Town Commission on Nov. 13. Included in the plan are these approximations: $75,000 to repair the HVAC system in the cafeteria, $70,000 to coat/weatherproof the roof of the two classroom buildings and $70,000 to paint the roof overhangs on these two buildings.

Most of the proposed plans will come out of the school’s reserves, which are at $758,222; $30,000 will come from the school’s maintenance budget. The commission allocated up to $225,000 from reserves to complete the maintenance projects.

The remainder of the reserves will be budgeted for future expansion and contingency.

Commissioner Mike Satterfield, who serves as the liaison between the town and the school, said these are all the projects that are pertinent to getting the school up to speed so an expansion can be discussed.

The school was built in 2003.



• The Town Commission authorized town staff to move forward with a survey and other actions necessary to purchase a strip of land owned by the Oakland Cemetery Association that is needed for the routing of sewer infrastructure.

When the Sanitary Sewer Master Plan was created in 2011, the town anticipated placing the utilities within the State Road 50 right-of-way east of the Florida’s Turnpike interchange. Since then, it has been determined that this right-of-way is too narrow.

The strip of cemetery land will provide a link between the current sewer improvements at the Pulte development and Tubb Street. The purchase price is $150,000, spread over three years, and the funding is included in the current Fiscal Year budget.

• The commission decided to bid out its development opportunity study, which will provide the data, targeted industries and expertise to pursue quality development within the town’s commercial corridors, Town Manager Steve Koontz said in his report. The study will cost an estimated $60,000.

• Police Chief Steve Thomas introduced two new members of the Oakland Police Department: Officer Rajiv Lal and Chaplain Andy Jones. Lal spent several years with the Winter Garden Police Department and has been serving as a reserve in Oakland until a full-time position opened up. Jones comes from the Windermere Police Department. The chaplain’s role is a volunteer position.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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