Lake City voters to consider $4.9 million school projectWith funds now in place to pay for critical repairs, Lake City school officials are hoping voters will approve a second, more expensive project phase for district buildings.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
With funds now in place to pay for critical repairs, Lake City school officials are hoping voters will approve a second, more expensive project phase for district buildings.
The $4.9 million project would provide extensive improvements at Lincoln High School and at Bluff View Elementary. Lake City School Board members in January approved a measure that allows voters to OK the project, which would be paid for by selling bonds.
Voters go to the polls May 18 to vote for the referendum, which one School Board member predicted will pass.
"The community knows this is necessary," said Lake City School Board member Mike Noll.
The project would be in addition to an $18 million improvement Phase 1 project approved last month to overhaul mechanical, roofing and security at the two schools.
That project passed without taxpayer approval since safety and health components qualified it as critical maintenance. The impact on taxpayers would be about $4 a month on a home valued at $100,000, district officials said.
Taxpayers also would pay back the borrowed $4.9 million for the proposed Phase 2. If approved, district officials say the project would mean a $2.20 monthly property tax increase on a $100,000 home.
The cost of Phase 2 includes $800,000, which would repay money district officials used last year to make emergency repairs, which included roof repairs at Lincoln and Bluff View. District officials say that, if approved, the project would free up $800,000 of operating budget funds for the next 20 years.
The proposed improvements were the result of extensive meetings between district leaders and community members in shaping the district's long-term facilities plan.
If the measure passes, Lincoln would see improvements to its theater, auditorium, gymnasium, science lab and deferred maintenance to surfaces around the building.
Bluff View would receive extensive deferred maintenance projects, including new masonry, flooring other interior improvements.
"There isn't a lot of frills in here," Noll said.
District officials are shopping the project to voters, using low contractor costs and a benefit to the community among selling points. Bonds, Noll said, are at an all-time low.
"Delaying (the project) will only make it more expensive," a district document states.