ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – The Francis Howell School District in St. Charles County is due to release what could be a stunning internal audit this week on the tens of millions it spent over budget for school improvements.

The audit is intended to explain some spending questions, like the construction project at Francis Howell North High School, which was supposed to cost $86.3 million but instead ended up costing nearly $164.7 million.

The internal audit will be released at Thursday’s public school board meeting. It’s intended to explain just how the spending of Proposition S funds was so far off track.

Prop S was a $244 million tax measure passed by voters to improve schools in the district, with the biggest being the high school.

When the cost of the development was unattainable, it threatened funds for other projects that had to be put on hold because there wasn’t enough money.

One school board member is not satisfied with just an internal audit.

Randy Cook wrote a letter to the Missouri Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick, asking his office to audit the district’s spending.

Cook wrote in the letter, “The district began construction of the new FHN High School in early 2021 without knowing the final price.”

Cook is not the only one wanting the state auditor to step in. Missouri Representative Phil Christofanelli of St. Peters also want them to intervene.

“Enron had internal audits as well. I think we need an independent review of the district’s finances to figure out why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Christofanelli said. “The dramatic increases that we’ve seen, as opposed to what was told the voter about that bonding increases, dramatically exceeded during the time they took on the project. We need to figure out what happened there. There needs to be accountability, and if there was wrongdoing, they need to be held accountable.”

FOX 2 spoke with Ken Gontarz, the chair of the Citizen’s Group and Francis Howell Families, and asked what his biggest question mark is.

“How did this happen? We as a community asked and asked and asked for validation,” Gontarz said. “We asked for numbers during the entire process, we didn’t get it until the last minute. We got it in the November 21 time frame after the train left the station.”

FOX 2 reached out to the district for comment. A spokesperson from the Francis Howell School District released the following statement:

“We are aware of the request that was submitted to the state auditor. As our superintendent stated publicly at our January Board of Education meeting, we welcome any outside review of our process and procedures. We are working hard to be transparent regarding our finances and Prop S.”

There are also changes coming to the school board. Two of the current board members have decided not to run for re-election. The citizen’s group is targeting a third member for defeat at the polls. The third board member didn’t wish to comment on this story.