For months, administrators, community members and staff members have been meeting to discuss strategic planning and building issues. These committees have presented the Board Members with valuble information.
The Bureau Valley District #340 Board of Education met in a special session Tuesday, November 14, 2017 in the district office in Manlius. Superintendent Eric Lawson introduced Steve Nelson from Larson Darby (via phone), Jeffrey Smith from Willett Hofmann, Chris Tyra from Midwest Construction Professionals and David Pistorius from First Midstate.
Steve Nelson began by presenting the plans for a proposed addition to Bureau Valley High School to house all district junior high students and 3rd – 5th grade students from the south portion of the district. The addition included a gym on the east side of the high school. This gym and accompanying rest rooms, locker rooms, offices and storage, would be tied into the existing electrical/mechanical systems at the high school. The other portion of the addition, including classrooms, offices, multi-purpose room, warming/serving kitchen and a separate entrance, will be on the west side of the high school. Click here to view the proposed addition.
Jeffrey Smith then spoke about Willett Hofmann’s role in this process. His firm would survey the entire property and plan the drainage, sidewalks, parking lots, and sewer/water connections. Two representatives from the Village of Manlius were present to discuss the Village’s water system.
Chris Tyra presented cost estimates. Conceptual costs total $11,156,702 including high school additions, HVAC upgrades at Bureau Valley North and Bureau Valley Wyanet, bleacher replacement at Bureau Valley North, and parking lot resurfacing at Bureau Valley North and Bureau Valley High School. The cost estimate includes hooking into village water/sewer and $330,000 in contingency costs. Click here to view the cost estimates.
David Pistorius read the ballot question that would appear on the March 20, 2018 ballot if approved. Included in the question are the various projects that the district has planned for the $12 million in bonds. One item, demolition of the Manlius Elementary building, would be done only if there is money left over after the other projects are complete. Mr. Pistorius explained that if the referendum passes, the district has 5 years to issue the bonds. Click here to read the Sample Ballot Question. He explained that the district’s tax rate has been at approximately $0.94 for many years, while we have been paying off the high school bonds. If we keep the tax rate the same, this $12 million bond issue could be paid in 12 years, as opposed to the 20 year payout for the high school bonds. Paying the bonds back quicker will save approximately $2 million. Click here to view the proposed bond payment schedule.
Each board member gave their thoughts on the bond issue. Several board members supported the $12 million amount because it was not at the top of our debt limit and it showed the board was being fiscally responsible by keeping the tax rate the same. Board members thanked the administration team and community committees for their hard work. Kent Siltman still voiced concerns regarding the placement of the addition at the high school and lack of additional library space. Several board members were excited about the educational opportunities that his plan could bring to our students.
Don King announced that the Board of Education would consider the adoption of a resolution providing for and requiring the submission of the proposition of issuing School Building Bonds to the voters of the District at the general primary election to be held on March 20, 2018. Recording Board Secretary, Karen Sierens, read the resolution aloud. Matt Wiggim moved to approve the resolution providing for and requiring the submission of the proposition of issuing School Building Bonds to the voters of Bureau Valley Community Unit School District Number 340, Bureau, Whiteside and Lee Counties, Illinois, at the general primary election to be held on the 20th day of March, 2018. Justin Yepsen gave the second. Roll was called and the motion passed 6 – 1, with Kent Siltman casting the only no vote.
Public meetings will be held in the near future.