The Effingham Unit#40 Board of Education approved several health/life/safety amendments at a special meeting Thursday night after a public hearing. The district is requesting to issue nearly $6-million in bonds to pay for various maintenance upgrades at Central Grade School and Effingham High School. Superintendent Mark Doan said that the additional bond issuance would not increase local taxes as it would essentially be a continuation on current health/life/safety bonds the district is already paying. “The funds that would be used to complete the work at Central and the High School would be sold through health/life/safety bonds,” Doan Said. “Those payments would be tacked onto the end of the payments we have now.”
Doan discusses bonds.
The district currently pays a little over $1.3-millions a year for health/life/safety bonds issued in 2010. That yearly payment would stay consistent even if the board issues $5.9-million in bonds.
Projects for Central Grade School include new high efficiency windows, 367,777 square feet of flooring (with asbestos abatement), and around 6,900 square feet of new roofing. Effingham High School Projects include 167,000 square feet of roofing, replacement of the HVAC system, adding air conditioning in the gyms, adding high efficiency lights, and fixing a drainage problem around the outside of the building.
Director of Business Services Rem Woodruff said many of the projects would save the district in energy costs down the line and would fix most of the big issues at the two buildings. “This is going to take care of a large majority of the problems that we have with maintenance,” Woodruff said.
Woodruff on the impact of the project.
The district will likely be contracting GRP Mechanical Co. to complete the project, although nothing has been finalized. According Bob Fogarty, of GRP, combining all the maintenance projects is beneficial for the district. “The fact that the district is taking a holistic view is going to save the district a lot of money,” Fogarty said.
The district can’t confirm how many of the projects they can actually do as a state board has the final say on what counts as health/life/safety improvements. After Thursday’s meeting the list of projects will be submitted for approval to the state. Once the district knows what projects they can do, the board will vote on a finalized contract and how much will be bonded out.