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Technology, security key in bond issue

August 18, 2010 - Goodrich- How to spend $15.4 million in the school district is likely to be debated over the next few months.

The laborious process was kicked off on Monday afternoon when the building and site committee convened to discuss a list of priorities the week before the school board considers whether to move forward on a major bond extension.

If approved by the board on Aug. 23, a Feb. 22, 2011 vote is expected for school district residents. If the board waits until May 2011 to vote, area state equalization values (SEV) will dip by a projected 8.6 percent, dropping the maximum about to $1.1 million. By using the School Bond Loan Fund, the school can keep the current millage rate of 7.75, said school officials. The SBLF helps small districts like Goodrich keep steady the millage rate while having enough money to complete major projects.

"There are some big ticket items on the list," said Doug Tetmeyer, school board trustee and Building and Site Committee chairperson.

"Right now it's imperative our buildings are ready for the next 10 years. There are some upgrades that are too much to take out of our general fund. Our boilers in the high school are operating at 60 percent, that's a $500,000 fix alone."

Tetmeyer said the upgrades will be prioritized and a list will be finalized by Oct. 8.

Tetmeyer added the projects discussed at the meeting were on a list established about four years ago when the district considered a $32 million bond. Since then a sagging economy has deflated SEV of area homes, reducing the maximum bond amount available to $15.4 million.

The possible upgrades to the school include major upgrades to technology and moving the high school main office to the south side of the building to enhance security.

"Keep in mind these buildings were designed before Sept. 11 or Columbine to limit the access to the buildings," said Tetmeyer.

Also, the committee is considering replacement of the wood on the gymnasium floor due to the limit in the number of times it has been refinished over the years and new bleachers for the football field.

"Not only replacement of the spectator stands, but also expanding the capacity," he said. "We have had issues with the insurance company regarding our current bleachers."

The school board will meet at 6 p.m., Aug. 23 to discuss the future of the bond issue.

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