Effingham Unit #40 Board of Education approved a $5-million maintenance contract, barring state approval, with GRP Mechanical at a special meeting Thursday night. Maintenance on the docket includes multiple items at Central Grade School and Effingham High School. Projects at Central Grade school include window replacements, asbestos abatement, adding ceramic floors in the bathrooms, adding carpets to classrooms, and replacing a portion of the roof. For EHS projects include a new HVAC system, installing a new boiler, fixing a drainage issue on the outside of the building, replacing existing lighting with LED lights, and installing an entirely new roof (167,000 sq. feet).
The District expects that all of the projects, except the lighting replacements, will fall in the category of health/life/safety improvements so that the Board can sell bonds to pay for them. Superintendent Mark Doan said the District plans to extend current bonds rather than sell new ones. “What’s important is that we’re extending bonds,” Doan said. “We’re not selling more bonds to raise taxes, that’s not what we’re doing.” The tax rate won’t go down, but it won’t go up significantly either. Doan said that if the district had the 1% facilities tax on the April ballot in place, it would pay for major maintenance projects instead of property tax hikes from selling bonds.
Doan discusses bonds.
As part of the maintenance discussion, board decided spend an additional $220,000 for a fully adhered roof system on the two buildings instead of partially adhered wind vent system. Director of Business Services Rem Woodruff recommended the fully adhered roofing system because of stronger warranty options and that they have performed well on District facilities in the past.
Projects part of the contract need to be approved by the state Board of Education as health/life/safety qualified before the District can extend their bonds to pay for them. If approved, Doan expects most of the projects to be completed over the summer.