Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 20, 2013 Referendum Update

The final quality control review of the construction drawings and project manual was completed on October 29.  An invitation to bid was published in the October 31 and November 7 editions of the Monroe County Democrat and the Cashton Record.   Construction drawings and project manuals have been uploaded to the Plan Room on the Submittal Exchange Website.  On December 4, at 2:00 pm, SDS Architects and representatives from the school will host a contractor walk-through.  Interested bidders have the opportunity to review the project details and submit a bid by 2:00 pm on Thursday, December 12.  The bid opening will be a public event that will take place in the MS/HS cafeteria.  The Board of Education will formally select the elementary project contractor at the regular Board meeting in December.

One exterior component to the elementary project is the expansion of the student pickup and drop off lot.  Below are the civil drawings that outline the adjustments to the structure of this area.



At the November 20 Board of Education meeting the school board passed a resolution to complete the issuance and sale of $1,140,000 in interest-free Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB).  The QZAB issuance is one component of the borrowing related to our referendum projects.  The QZAB program helps school districts save on interest costs associated with financing school renovations.  The federal government covers all of the interest in the form of a reimbursement of interest cost paid by the district.  To qualify the school district must obtain commitments from private entities (businesses and/or non-profit organizations) for no less than 10% of the proceeds of the bond issue.

This spring, after our referendum passed, we applied for $1,000,000 of interest-free bonds.  We secured a $50,000 commitment from Don Weber and a $50,000 commitment from Organic Valley. The Department of Public Instruction not only approved us for $1,000,000 in borrowing, they also indicated that an additional $140,000 in interest-free bonds could be obtained if the district could secure additional private commitments.  I am happy to report that the FFA Alumni Association has committed to donating an additional $20,000 over the next five years and the Cashton Alumni Association has committed to donating $7,500 over the next five years. These commitments will make it possible for the district to maximize this interest free financing opportunity.  Our bond counsel estimates that this will save the district over $300,000 in interest costs over the next twenty years.  In addition, the district will receive a total of $127,500 from Mr. Don Weber, Organic Valley, the FFA Alumni Association, and the Cashton Alumni Association.  The FFA Alumni has earmarked their donations to support agriculture students participating in state and national workshops and competitions.  The other entities have asked that their donations be used to support innovative programming, field trips, and other educational opportunities for the students of our district.

On November 20, the District is scheduled to close on 566 Schneider Avenue and 556 Schneider Avenue.  The district will look to sell the home on 556 Schneider Avenue, contingent on the purchaser removing the home from the property.  In the short term the acquisition of this property will help the maintenance staff clear snow from the parking lot behind the school in a more efficient manner.

On November 13, a certified asbestos contractor removed category-1 asbestos containing materials from both the home at 525 Coe Street and the Lewis Street Apartments.  After the Department of Natural Resources certifies that the category-1 asbestos containing material has been removed, materials of possible value will be removed from both structures.  These materials will be stored and made available at an auction.  The auction will likely be held on a weekend in the spring.
On October 24, SDS Architects met with selected members of the MS/HS faculty and with the facilities committee. Five different front entrance designs were presented.  Both groups quickly identified two front entrance designs as the only feasible designs presented.   The essential main entrance redesign elements are present in each design, however, they vary in the magnitude and scope of the remodeling at the front of the school.  The facilities committee has asked SDS to create a sample budget for each main entrance design.  The committee felt that this information was needed prior to making any recommendations to the Board of Education.

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