By David Fleet
Goodrich- On Aug. 4, school district voters will decide on a $20,930,000 bond extension proposal. The (project) bond would not increase taxes rather extend the debt out until about 2030.
Following an extensive facilities and condition assessment study of school district buildings last summer that total $45.9 million in upgrades, $26.5 million or 57 percent were recognized as critical within the next 1-3 years.
“We are looking for what the district drastically needs,” said Wayne Wright, district superintendent. “It’s not a pretty bond issue. But, it’s getting us the essentials—the nice thing is the gymnasium at Oaktree which they drastically need. Right now the gymnasium (at Oaktree) is also the lunch room. Thus, it shuts down and they can’t have classes there for a period of time. With the new gymnasium in place additional room would be created for a ‘Makers Space’ at Oaktree.”
School officials have pared the needs down to about a $20 million project.
“We’ve looked at the needs of the district from roofs to electrical to mechanical,” he said.
Some of the bond projects will include roofing, asphalt and technology. Also, the middle school and high school entrance off Gale Road, will have a new vestibules for security. Reid will have a new water well and roof. In addition, about $3 million is needed for technology will be included.
“We put a plan in place to go over the next 20 years,” he said. “We’ll be looking at a sinking fund in the near future and possibly another bond issue 8-10 years down the road.”
According to an audit by Lewis & Knopf for the 2018-19 fiscal year ending June 30, the district ended with a fund balance of 13 percent or $2,561,433 up from 11 percent or $2,295,498, at the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year.
The district added to the fund balance by $265,935 the fifth consecutive year of increases to the schools coffers. The district fund balance has rallied from a low of $1,336,529 in the 2013-14 school year.
Wright said the district will refinance some previous bond issues.
“It does not get any money back to the school, rather lowers the interest rates so people in the community pay less interest,” he said. “Interest rates are as low as they have ever been.”
The last bond was February 2011 when school district voters approved a $15.4 million bond extension to be used for educational facilities, technology, athletics and energy upgrades.