Board weighs middle-school-at-high-school-site plan

School Board
Pete Temple
Express Associate Editor

     Getting its first chance to discuss it as a group, the Monticello School Board kicked around the Facilities Committee’s proposal to have a grade 5-8 middle school built on the high school site, during the board’s April 11 work session.

     The Facilities Committee, after months of meetings, tours and discussion, along with a look at projected costs, had narrowed down the numerous options for new school buildings at its April 4 meeting, landing on the middle school plan, potentially part of a two-phase, long-term “central campus” plan.

     OPN Architects, which had representatives at Wednesday’s work session, has projected the total cost of a 5-8 building on the high school site at $20.3 million.

     The plan is subject to school board approval, and on April 11 the board discussed it, with the possibility of approving it at its regular meeting April 23.

     If approved by the board, a bond issue election will be held about the plan on Sept. 11.

     On Wednesday, the board heard a presentation from Travis Squires, managing director at PiperJaffray, about possible levies, debt service schedules and tax impact.

     Squires went through a variety of illustrations. One that could be close to the mark, would involve a $19 million referendum.

     Were that to be approved, and to pass in September, it would mean a monthly additional tax of $14.60 for a $100,000 residential property, and an additional 32 cents per acre on agricultural property that averages $2,059 value per acre.

     Later, OPN’s Susan Bowersox updated the board on the plan, and took questions.

     Superintendent Brian Jaeger then offered what he called a draft of a multi-phase timeline over the next several years, assuming the bond issue would pass, that included other projects within the district. Among them were a new transportation center, improvements to the high school, and saving/remodeling the middle school gym for community use.

     The board indicated it would like to see high school improvements, which include better security and addressing roof problems, brought to the front of the timeline. Jaeger said he would re-work the draft of the timeline to reflect those wishes.

Teacher contract approved

     During a special meeting that was held prior to the work session, the board approved a contract with the Monticello Education Association. The contract calls for a 2.42 percent total package increase for the first year, and a 2.5 percent increase in the second year.



Subscriber Login