Central High School Board passes authorizing resolution for $6.5 million building rehab project

booster-chs-falconThe Central High School Board passed an authorizing resolution allowing it to borrow up to $6.5 million for building repairs and maintenance projects.

The resolution was made under state statutes that allow the districts to borrow for improvements that increase efficiency.

The unanimous vote was taken after the board hosted a forum on the project that featured speakers from Nexus Solutions, which has been consulting the district on the project, as well as the district’s financial consultant Mike Hallman.

If the project can get at least 3.95 percent financing over 20 years, the project would add about $12 per year to the taxes of a home valued at $100,000, Hallman said.

The project is projected to save the district about $50,o00 a year in utility and operational costs, said Mike David of Nexus.

Some of the areas of the school slated for improvement include: remodeling 50-year old bathrooms; modifications to the wood shop, science rooms and kitchen; water plant replacement; outside maintenance to tile and brick; and bringing cooling to the gym and lobby areas (welcomed by anyone who has ever attended a graduation ceremony at the school — DH).

Nexus actually identified $12 million in possible repairs, which was pared by the board to the targeted $6.5 million, David said.

About 10 members of the public attended the forum. The objection raised most frequently by the audience was the planned filling in of the multi-level all purpose room to eliminate ramps and stairs and increase the usable space. One audience member said the change would render it unusable by the cheer team for practice because the ceiling would be too low and others questioned whether it fit the increased efficiency aspect of the proposed project. Paris resident Michael Cavalenes asked why the board did not institute a pay as you go plan for making the improvements and avoid borrowing money and paying interest.

Once the authorizing resolution  is published, electors of the district would have 30 days to mount a petition campaign to have the matter put to a referendum.

District administrator R. Scott Pierce said if a referendum is held, the vote could not be held in conjunction with the April election and would have to wait until the November general election.

The board could still elect to borrow less than authorized by the resolution.

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2 Comments

  1. Mike Cavalenes says:

    The estimated interest payment over 20 years was $3 million. $3 million would buy a lot of nice stuff instead of paying it to bond holders. Where were the competitive bids for these projects.

  2. James says:

    Unbelievable! Why oh why didn’t the school use the money that they borrowed 8 years ago to do the interior work that they are wanting to do now? No….. instead, they used the money for a football field; a soccer field; a HUGE traffic problem on highway 83, and bleachers! That 12 million dollars in repairs could have been done at a way lesser cost 8 years ago! Let’s work on getting these kids an education, ok? Why bring cooling into the gym? It’s really used just a few times when it’s hot outside – that would not, and does not, constitute spending thousands of dollars to install cooling. As a side note – I believe the cooling “could” have been installed years ago at a minimal cost, but the decision makers chose NOT to have it done at the time. Why the change of heart now?
    I just don’t get it – aren’t people always talking about “free” education? That’s a laugh! Look at the price of Driver’s Education!!! It “used” to be free – now? Not so much!

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