Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

District's Schools Underinsured, Business Manager Warns

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

District's Schools Underinsured, Business Manager Warns

Article excerpt

The business manager of the Webster Groves School District says many of the district's schools are considerably underinsured on the basis of recent appraisals of the buildings and their contents.

The district's property and liability insurance for its eight schools, its central office, warehouse and several other units is covered by the Missouri United Schools Insurance Council.

The district pays about $75,700 annually to insure property and contents appraised at about $60.6 million, says Diane Vaughan, the district's business manager. However, recent appraisals of the buildings, their contents and modular units at Hixson Junior High, Avery Elementary and Hudson Elementary schools total about $89.3 million. The district would have to pay another $35,800 for additional coverage, Vaughan said. Schools that are significantly underinsured include Webster Groves High School, by about $15 million; Hixson Junior High, by about $5 million; and Steger Sixth-Grade Center, by about $4 million. Uninsured units include Hixson's modular unit, track, bleachers, restrooms and concession stands; modular units at Hudson and Avery elementary schools; and the tennis courts on Selma Avenue. Vaughan said she would discuss the matter with insurance officials. She also plans to meet with the district's financial committee to explore options of paying for more coverage. "We possibly have money this year to cover the $35,000, but this year is our last without deficit spending in our budget," she said. The school board is expected to hear an update on the insurance options at its meeting Sept. 23. In other business, the school year has begun with a few snags in the school district's transportation program. Vaughan said the district's three buses were running at capacity and could not take more students. This year, 418 students are riding buses compared with 300 riders this time last year. Most are paying for transportation, and those who are on a waiting list are willing to pay, Vaughan says. …

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