JCD building project draws large crowd
WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Nearly 100 people gathered at the Osgood Community Building on Wednesday, July 12 for a special meeting about bonds for the Jac-Cen-Del School Corporation.
There were some for securing the monies needed for the renovations proposed and some against. Mostly, people came to learn more about how their property taxes would be affected by the proposal and if it is the right thing to keep the school going.
First, Superintendent Sam Melton presented the facility needs and upgrades.
At the high school, a roof needs replaced which will have an approximate cost of $1,372,000. Photos were shown of the roof leaking and continued damage it is doing. Two air handling units in the gymnasium are needed ($750,000).
The existing boiler at the high school is a Bryan “Flexible Water Tube” gas-fired boiler with a total capacity of 1600 MBH. This unit was installed in 2011 and has a life expectancy of about 35 years. Melton explained they were looking at anything that might have a high cost and would need to be replaced within just a few years. This would cost about $350,000 now but could go higher as time goes by.
The two-storage tank gas fired water heater was installed at the high school in 2006. They are looking at replacing this at a cost of $50,000; and finally at the high school the intercom system is looking at an upgrade for about $40,000.
Of concern at the elementary school is the main entry doors which are open to classrooms and corridors. Supt. Melton said in today’s climate of unrest he feels this is of utmost importance. While many options were looked at for this situation, a cost of $350,000 is tied to it. Also, at the elementary, there is a need for bleachers to be repaired and replaced. The cost comes in at about $150,000. There are drainage issues at the elementary that includes the parking lot, playground area, and around the building itself. The approximate cost of $1,400,000 includes milling and replacing asphalt parking lots.
Intercom issues that include an additional horn speaker in the cafeteria, new ceiling speakers in the office inner hallway, call button in cafeteria, and replacing the existing playground and back parking area horns will cost about $10,000. Track resurfacing will cost about $350,000. The present track has drainage issues along with bubbling of the track surface. Last for the elementary is deteriorating playground equipment. They have a match from the Reynolds Foundation of $225,000 to offset the cost of $400,000.
The final proposal seemed to rile the crowd the most. It was the proposal of a multipurpose building. Called a multipurpose gym, it would allow for an expanded area for instruction, athletics, and club activities. This cost would be around $1,600,000.
The area has a large agriculture base with farmers concerned about the cost of the project which directly impacts them through taxes. Some farmers noted they already had a 17% increase this year.
A financial advisor from Raymond James met with the group as well giving information that the estimated tax bill impact would be a $0.1262 increase. He noted that on a $100,000 residential property, the increase would mean only $17.72. However, farm ground was much different.
There were many questions and good conversation about the definite need for some items and perhaps the want of others. “Do we want to educate our children or entertain them?” Owen Menchhofer asked.
Some thought if the school didn’t move ahead with this project they will pay a lot more in the future due to the rising costs of everything. Others were not sure about the multipurpose building and the good it would bring.
In the end, the present school board will have the vote coming Monday, July 17. This will be the vote that gets the wheels moving toward this type of renovation/building project for Jac-Cen-Del Schools.