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Bond extension project list approved by board

October 20, 2010 - Goodrich- The school board voted 7-0 on Monday night at a special meeting approving $15.4 million in a project list for a proposed bond extension.

Construction could begin as early as September 2011 for about 100 projects in the district ranging from $1.7 million for athletics to $3.9 million for the high school to $1.6 million for Reid Elementary.

Financing for the projects followed board approval on Aug. 23. A Feb. 22, 2011 vote is expected for the bond extension 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 to about $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 the millage rate steady while having enough money to complete major projects.

However, the bond amount may increase following a 7-0 vote in September when the board passed a resolution to apply for Quality School Construction Bonds that if approved would drop the projected interest rate from about 5.125 percent down to 1.5 percent

School officials say the money is left over from the first round of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The money will be available to school districts that apply on a first come-first served basis. If the school receives the money it would raise the bond amount by about $4 million to $19 million.

Phil Hartman and Tim Johnson of Wolgast Corporation along with Andy Turbett of Fanning Howey Architects presented the building program which could take up to 18 months to complete.

Doug Tetmeyer, school board trustee and Building and Site Committee chairperson said each item on the project list has been looked at extensively.

"We tried to be proactive in these projects," said Tetmeyer. "We took into consideration the future needs of the district—especially the maintenance of the buildings. Items such as boilers will save the district money in the future. Everyone has something in the project list. Security is also an issue. Some say we don't have security issues here in Goodrich. Other have said that until they have a problem."

The board bantered over the proposed $600,000 for new turf football field which includes a one-year warranty.

"It's a trade off," said John Fazer, district superintendent. "The time spent mowing and caring for a grass field will cost us $30,000 per year. At best you are only going to get to use it about 20 times per year—depending on how much it rains. Then the band will tear it up real fast and little kids football is also hard on a field. Not to mention soccer on the field. The turf field now becomes a community focus. It's penny-wise and dollar foolish."

Trustee Linda Jackson said the scope of the projects is good; however, the future classroom needs of the district is a concern.

"When the economy picks up in the next few years we are going to need a new building—class size is a concern of mine."

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