USD 333 board approves $5.5 million bond issue
Bonds, the budget and building disposal were all issues addressed by the Unified School District 333 board of education during its August meeting Monday night.
By a vote of 7-0, the board adopted a resolution calling for a bond election in November.
The district is seeking $5.5 million in general obligation bonds for improvements at the Concordia Elementary School.
The board approved the $7,405,603 for 2013-14.
Disposing of the Lincoln School building was discussed by the board. It was decided to sell the building at auction.
USD 333 will call a bond election in the district on Nov. 5, seeking an amount not to exceed $5.5 million for the replacement of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) at the Concordia Elementary School, lighting and other improvements at other district buildings and the construction of a FEMA approved storm shelter at the elementary school.
Should the bond issue pass, replacement of the HVAC system could be completed by the start of the 2014-15 school year. Construction of the storm shelter, which will include four classrooms, would take 12-16 months.
USD 333 patrons approved a $5.25 million bond issue in 1994 for construction of the elementary school.
The current mill levy for bond and interest on that project is 1.976 mills, and the bonds will be paid off in 2014.
The mill levy rate for the proposed project would be 3.976 mills over 20 years, or an increase of 2 mills.
Currently, state aid would cover 40 percent of the cost of the improvements.
“The 40 percent is the biggest thing that has to be communicated,” board member Chuck Knapp said.
During a prior study session, Trane presented a proposal to the board for replacing the HVAC system in the elementary school, and did a district-wide energy efficiency study.
Currently, the energy use cost per square foot at the elementary school is $1.16, while at the Concordia Junior-Senior building it is $0.66 and $0.79 at the middle school.
The estimated cost for replacing the HVAC system is $2,307,900.
Trane also proposed lighting upgrades throughout the district , new lighting at Harold M. Clark Stadium, HVAC replacment at the Career and Techinical Education building along with consolidation of electric, water and gas meters at a total cost of $2,890,000.
The estimated annual cost savings would be $53,888.
The board received plans for the proposed FEMA storm shelter from PBA Architects, P.A., Wichita.
The shelter would connect to the southwest corner of the elementary school building, and would hold 611 people.
PBA Architects provided three three plans, all of which included four classrooms.
The first plan is 7,510 square feet with four restrooms at a cost of $2,443,000. The second plan is 7,299 square feet and includes a computer server room at a cost of $2,370,000. The third plan is 6,884 square feet, has three restrooms and a computer server room at a cost of $2,248,000.
“They (PBA Architects) the leader wtih FEMA in the building of these shelters,” superintendent of schools Beverly Mortimer said.
Knapp asked about the possibility of separating the two projects on the ballot.
“If you want one, but not the other, do you vote no or do you vote yes?” Knapp asked.
Mortimer said that in her opinion you do not give people of choice of which project they want to do.
“If they vote for the FEMA shelter and not the HVAC we will be in trouble,” Mortimer said, “The bond people say put it all together.”
“We have to let people know we don’t have a choice about the HVAC system. It has to be fixed,” board member Pat Murk said.
Board member Kevin Pounds asked about the possibility of working with Concordia Recreation on using the shelter, if needed during the summer for people attending events at the Concordia Sports Complex.
The board, in a unanimous vote, approved the resolution calling for the bond election in November.
Also on a vote of 7-0, the board approved the proposed 2013-14 operating budget of $7,405,603.
The proposed mill levy rate is 49.972. That is a slight increase of .001 mills from 49.971 for 2012-13.
Prior to the vote on the budget, Mortimer presented the board with some figures on state funding.
The state is currently funding students in USD 333 at $3,838 per student, .8875 after weighting for a total of $7,244,225.
Mortimer said the law calls for $4,433 per student x .8875 for $8,367,289.50. That is a difference of over $1 million.
“You think about the last four years of the cuts and the closing buildings, we would like to have that million,” Mortimer said.
The district is as high as it can go on its Local Option Budget (LOB) at 24.296 mills, which produces $2,487,059.
The state funds $1,355,198.45 of that, and has proposed funding of LOBs at 78 percent, or $1,057,055. That will cost the district $296,508.75.
“Because we depend on state aid, that hurts us,” Mortimer said.
The board tabled a decision on the disposal of Lincoln School following a discussion on the issue.
Lincoln School was closed as a cost cutting measure.
The building housed the Learning Cooperative of North Central Kansas (LCNCK) offices and storage, Parents as Teachers (PAT), Head Start, Concordia Afterschool Program (CAP) and the Learning Center.
LCNCK has moved into the Smoky Hill Education Service Center offices at 219 W. Seventh St, and Smoky Hill has moved into the former middle school building.
CAP, PAT, Head Start and CCDC has also moved into the middle school building.
The Learning Center moved into the building that was the Alternative High School.
“We are completely out of Lincoln,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer told the board that she had received phone calls about the building, and that one idea was taking sealed bids on it and setting a minimum price.
“You can reject the bids if you don’t like them,” Mortimer said.
Knapp suggested selling the building at auction.
Following a discussion, it was decided to have Mortimer move forward with setting up an auction for the building.
In personnel matters, the board approved transferring Ryan Mortimer from seventh grade science to fifth grade and Ashley Carlgren from high school social sciences to seventh grade science/high school social sciences.
The board also approved hirng Beth Gross as a reading specialist for the elementary schoool for the 2014-15 school year.
In other items the board approved:
The LCNCK handbook and peer mentoring revisions; a shared services agreement for LCNCK with USD 426 Pike Valley; a hearing impaired education services agreement for LCNCK with Marlene Nelson; an occupational and physical therapy agreement for LCNCK with Republic County Hospital; an adapted physical education services agreement for LCNCK with Katherine Lysell; a physical therapy agreement for LCNCK with Lori Kemling; an occupational therapy agreement for LCNCK with Rachel Kueker; a nursing contract for LCNCK with Accessible Home Health, Inc.; and a Memorandum of Understanding between Early Head Start and Parents as Teachers for LCNCK.
The board did not take action on a facilities use agreement and fees.
Mortimer told the board that Brandon Rice, the junior-senior high school athletic director, is going to do a study on the issue as his masters project, and that the agreement will stay as it is for now.
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