School bond issue gets last review before election

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 6:04 PM

The Bayfield School Board got their last pre-election update on school construction plans on Oct. 25, assuming voter approval of the district's $28.7 million bond issue. This is issue 3B on ballots sent to voters within the school district.

"Two days after the election, we're getting our team together to market our bonds as soon as possible before everyone else and before interest rates go up," Finance Director Amy Lyons told the board.

The total project is budgeted at $37.2 million, including an $8.6 million BEST grant from the state that's contingent on voter approval of the bond issue. The district plans to build a new school for grades 3-5 on 40 acres south of the mid school, and do extensive renovation and additions at the current elementary school to accommodate grades K-2. The budget includes intersection improvements on County Road 501 at Sossaman Drive and the Mountain View-Lakeside Drive-East Oak Drive intersection, and safety and traffic flow improvements at the middle school.

So far there haven't been any budget surprises, Lyons told the school board.

District owner's representative Marty Zwisler said, "We put a lot into these budgets. I feel good that all in all, the budgets will hold. We'll build the schools for the money we have, but I don't think we'll have to compromise on what we want because we didn't budget for it." He added that there will be surprises, such as what he called an Olympic-sized swimming pool created by heavy rains during construction of the performing arts auditorium at the high school in 2013.

He asserted, "If the voters support us, we're ready to deliver."

As of that day, a signature was still needed on a road easement that's part of the annexation with the town for the 40 acres, and the general contractor agreement with FCI was not quite ready for signatures because of very detailed legal review.

The board approved a resolution authorizing Lyons or Superintendent Troy Zabel to sign the contract with FCI, if the bond passes.