The Guthrie Board of Education spent two hours in a special board meeting Wednesday evening going over their strategy plan for the next school bond proposal. The board’s goal is an April 2 election.
Board members discussed potential projects and funding mechanisms. No actions were taken. The video of the meeting follows this article.
The school district is aiming at a target estimate of an $19.2 million bond proposal over five years until 2024.
The dollar amount comes with a 17-mill levy cap. In the successful 2015 school bond, the mill levy was set at 15 mills for all property owners inside the school district.
The school board is expected to take action on calling for an election in a January meeting. The deadline to declare for an April 2 election with the Logan County Election Board is January 31.
In November, the Long-Range Planning Committee, which is mostly the same members who made recommendations for the 2015 school bond, for Guthrie Public Schools made a presentation on future project needs and infrastructure for the school district. Related article: School planning committee recommends replacing Cotteral Elementary
Majority of the bond proposal money would go toward replacing Cotteral Elementary school with a new building with a capacity of 500 students. The new school, which would be built on the same property to the west, would come in 2023 when bond money became available.
The soft cost of the two-story school building provided by The Stacy Group is listed at $13.2M.
Other proposed items equal an estimated $6.67M for upgrades to Fogarty Elementary, Central Elementary, Guthrie Junior High School, Guthrie High School, capital projects and district-wide technology. Each school listed would create a secure vestibule (school security).
The list of projects comes to an estimated $19.8M, but the district is hopeful to use some cost saving measures, including bundling projects, and other funds to help lower the amount.
In addition to the list of potential items, school board members encouraged school staff to look at adding improvements to the deteriorating high school track (current unknown cost) and addition of band instruments ($212,000) with either bond or building fund dollars.
The following is a breakdown of the potential bond projects.
Fogarty – renovate three sets of restrooms ($270,000), auditorium seating and lighting ($350,000), HVAC ($200,000) and create secure vestibule ($150,000).
Junior High – envelope phase II ($1M), new chiller ($200,000), HVAC ($1.5M) and create secure vestibule ($100,000).
High School – renovate five sets of restrooms ($450,000) and create secure vestibule ($150,000).
GUES – HVAC ($60,000), create secure vestibule ($150,000) and new chiller ($100,000).
Central – create secure vestibule ($150,000)
District-wide technology ($1.5M) and soft capital projects (341,600). Technology goals would be to add computers for teachers, smart boards and infrastructure.
In the successful May 2015 bond issue with an approval of 76.81 percent of the voters, the $16.2 million bond issue passed with the largest approval for the district since 1977. Previously, the school district had failed seven consecutive bond elections.