Three schools put bond issues on ballot
Three local school districts are asking voters to approve bond issues in the Aug. 7 election.
Sandusky Schools is going for $7.34 million in bonds and an additional 1.62 mills for 15 years to pay the bonds off. The Marlette District is asking for $5.535 million in bonds and an additional 1.95 mills for 25 years. The Peck Board is asking for 1.5 mills for five years, which would raise approximately $102,000 the first year.
According to state law, school bond proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.
The proposal calls for: a four-room kindergarten addition to the middle school; new roofs for the high school and middle school; parking lot improvements; safety upgrades; a new middle school gym floor; educational technology; lockers; flooring; sidewalks; and remodeling offices and classrooms in the middle school.
The addition is necessary because the district is closing the elementary building and converting the middle school to a pre-school through 6th grade building and the high school to a 7-12 building in 2013- 14.
The addition would cost an estimated $936,000. The plan also includes the approximately $200,000 cost of demolishing the old 14-classroom north wing at Maple Valley Elementary. The intermediate school district will still use the south wing for special education programs, and the gym, cafeteria and will remain available for activities.
“Eighty-five percent of the bond is for non-consolidation purposes,” stated Superintendent Mike Carmean.
“To save money we need to get into two buildings, but we can’t just move the elementary kids to the middle school as it is. There is not room for the kindergarten as well as the make of up the classrooms (is not suitable for elementary students),” he added.
The board anticipates the consolidation will save approximately $362,000 in salaries and benefits by downsizing the administrative, custodial and secretarial staff, $44,000 in energy savings at Maple Valley, and $18,000 in transportation costs by eliminating bus runs to Maple Valley.
Carmean said the Aug. 7 vote is not a vote for or against consolidation. Consolidation will occur at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year “regardless if the proposal is passed.”
The new millage would cost $1.62 per $1,000 of taxable value. The millage would cost the owner of a house with a taxable value of $25,000 an additional $40.50 per year, while a house with a taxable value of $75,000 would be taxed an additional $121.50.
The board has a list of 66 infrastructure projects they want to take care of with the bond money.
The list includes everything from technology upgrades to new roofs and boilers.
The projects include: technology infrastructure updates, new servers, computers and printers, and an expanded secondary school media and computer center. The elementary building and juniorsenior high building would also get increased security and safety, with closed circuit camera and key systems to control access to both buildings.
The board also wants to update fire alarm and emergency lighting systems, emergency fixtures at exit doors, handicap accessible ramps and bathrooms, improved sidewalks, parking lots and exterior lighting, and emergency shut-off valves for the science room and boilers.
They also plan building energy use and ventilations upgrades in the junior/senior high school gym and locker rooms including some roof and exhaust equipment replacements, toilet repairs, taking care of cracks in walls at both schools, adding a new secondary school entrance canopy and lobby, and replacing worn lockers and windows in the oldest part of the building. The plan calls for converting eight 30-year-old heating boilers in each school, as well as several other heating and water pump replacements. The bonds would also pay for upgrades to the elementary’s old doors, furniture, fixtures and equipment, and for exterior site improvements.
The old Bea McDonald Elementary, which is closed and has mold and asbestos problems, would be demolished.
“The bond addresses our aging facility needs, aging bus fleet, and technology to prepare our students for the 21st century global job market they will enter upon graduation,” said Marlette Superintendent Jeriann Patterson.
The bond would levy 1.95 mills, which is $1.95 of each $1,000 of taxable valuation. It would cost an additional $48.75 per year for a home with a $25,000 taxable valuation and $146.25 for property with a $75,000 taxable valuation.
The board is asking for the millage to use as a sinking fund for capital expenditures for building upgrades.
The district needs to replace the gym bleachers and within two years start replacing sections of the roof and flooring in the building.
“A number of areas time has taken its toll on. Parts of the building are old, things wear out,” stated Superintendent Ryle Kisor.
The 1.5 mill levy would cost $1.50 on each $1,000 of taxable value or $37.50 per year for a property with a $25,000 taxable value and $112.50 for a home with a taxable value of $75,000.