D. 158 eyes $10M bond sale

2013-04-18T21:45:00Z 2013-04-19T03:12:07Z D. 158 eyes $10M bond salePAUL CZAPKOWICZ Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 18, 2013 9:45 pm  • 

LANSING | Busted boilers are just one reason the Lansing Elementary District 158 Board of Education is expected to vote on the sale of $10 million in bonds at its May 15 meeting.

A recent gas explosion has disabled the two boilers at the Lester Crawl Primary Center, and replacing the building's old steam boiler system with a more modern heating and cooling system is expected to cost about $1.3 million.

"The heat system here at Lester Crawl has to be in place and operable by October," board member Robert Bonifazi said.

The new system also would provide air conditioning throughout the building.

Board President Robert Wood said it is projected the district also will need about $7.5 million to complete the second phase of a renovation and expansion project at Reavis Elementary School. Among other features, that second phase is expected to add a new library and nine more classrooms.

"We can't leave a building half-way done," board member Anthony Arens said.

Additional money generated from the sale of bonds would be used to provide a more secure vestibule area at Coolidge Elementary School.

Board Vice President Charles Taylor said the board has little choice but to sell bonds for the projects.

"We will not touch the reserves," Taylor said. "Our business manager has advised us not to go below six months of operating capital in our reserves, and that's where we're at."

Arens said the district will have to borrow because a drop in property valuations in the village means lower tax revenues.

The board voted unanimously on Wednesday to authorize Business Manager Doug Handley to start the bond process and to allow the district's construction management team to come up with costs for the projects.

In other district news:

• The board approved an amended calendar for the the current school year to make May 31 the last academic day. The calendar was adjusted to take out five emergency days built in that have gone unused.

• The board also approved a calendar for the 2013-14 school year that looks different than usual.

"I can't think of the last time we didn't have the week after Easter off," Wood said.

Spring break next year is scheduled for the week of March 31 through April 4. Easter is on April 20 next year.

Assistant Superintendent Philip Schumaker said along with the fact that the Easter holiday falls later in the year in 2014, the district tries to keep its elementary school students on a similar calendar as the local high school district.

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