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WJBD - Local News - South Central School Board Mulls State Construction Grant, Tours High School

Maintenance Director Jon Lotz points out upturned and damaged floor tiles to the South Central High School Board on Monday.

A damaged brick wall is shown during the tour. The wall separates the Chimney system from the Library. If it breaks, it could expose students to Carbon Monoxide.

South Central School Board Mulls State Construction Grant, Tours High School

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

The South Central School Board has been told it would cost around 68-cents per $100 assessed valuation to pay off a $3-million dollar bond issue needed to take advantage of a $10 million dollar state construction grant.   That would raise the tax rate above what it was a few years ago when another bond issue was retired.  Superintendent Rick Bachelor says they hoped for better numbers, and that it's too early to say whether or not the district will be able to take advantage of the state grant funding.

"We've got a long ways to go in this project to make that decision [to move forward]." Bachelor said, "It's not as good as we had hoped it would be, numbers wise. We'll follow through on the process within a month or so and try to make an educated decision."

If the district decides to go forward with selling the bonds, the public will have 30 days to petition for a referendum, and if the petition is successful the issue will be brought before the voters. 

The board took a tour of the South Central High School during the meeting. Maintenance Director Jon Lotz led the tour, and showcased the myriad of problems currently faced by the high school. Bachelor says the district will have to fix the problems no matter what, whether they use the state funding or not.

Lotz says the High School, first and foremost, is not up to current ADA, Fire, and Plumbing codes, and that if the state decides to push the code issue the district could be fined. The proposed construction grant would remove the second floor of the high school and renovate expand the first floor, adding up to eight new classrooms. The removal would bring the school up to fire code, as the Spanish classroom on the second floor currently exits into the library--fire code forbids a classroom exiting into another classroom--it would also allow for ADA compliance due to the High School not having elevators and plumbing compliance because the second floor currently does not have bathrooms.

Renovations would fix a myriad of other issues including breaking and degrading steam pipes , unset tiles and foundation issues, possible Asbestos in the floors as well as a large crack in the wall separating the chimney from the library, which is at risk of breaking and possibly exposing students to Carbon Monoxide.

706 students attend the district, which is also facing overcrowding issues at the middle school and the elementary school.

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