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Earlier this month, the District 202 School Board voted unanimously to move forward on a plan for the District to sell up to $6 million in bonds to fund upcoming capital improvement projects.
The District is “undercapitalized”, said William Stafford, District 202 chief financial officer, spending $2 million to $3 million annually when closer to $4 million is needed to maintain the 1.2 million square feet building and 60 acre campus.
Mr. Stafford presented the Board a five-year capital improvement plan totaling $29 million. It includes structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing work; roofs repairs; a new elevator equipped with a rail system said to be more ‘environmentally sensitive;’ new interior signage, including wayfinder signs; Heritage or “H” Hall will be renovated, and the main kitchen will be renovated with energy and water saving technology and reusable trays.
The plan, as explained by Mr. Stafford and Mary Rodino, deputy chief financial officer, is to apply for Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs) from the State, with the intent to issue between $4 million and $6 million in bonds this winter or next spring. The Board passed a resolution to apply for the zero-interest bonds and another to declare intent to issue $6 million in working cash bonds which start the legal bond process. An official bond hearing is anticipated next month.
The Board was reminded of some of the improvements made in the past year: tennis courts, Geometry for Construction space, the Advanced Manufacturing Lab, the Planetarium, the IP Phone System and the Boltwood cooling tower.
“We won’t have as many ribbon cuttings next year,” Superintendent Eric Witherspoon told the Board. “But the improvements are still important.”