School Board presses forward with building additions

OSKALOOSA – The Oskaloosa School Board is moving ahead with building addition projects totally nearly $10 million. The move came at the Oct. 13 meeting of the Oskaloosa School Board, as they received an update on rates for the sale of bonds, as well as heard an update on how the overall design of proposed expansions at the Elementary School and High School are coming.

The board first tackled the issue of whether or not to officially sell bonds for the project. Tim Oswald, of Piper Sandler, reported to the board that the district had received favorable rates from two banks: MidwestOne and Truist (BB&T) Bank.

Owald did note that the number of banks to respond to the sale was small, saying that many of the large banks have held off on getting into bond sales because they are oftentimes heavily dependent on sales tax revenues. Larger states with vacation destinations, such as Florida and Arizona, have seen their projected sales tax revenue plummet as economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ultimately, of the two banks to respond, Truist presented the most favorable rate on bonds for the expansion projects with a 1.49% rate. Truist also proposed a 1.88% rate on bonds for the district’s $3 million share of the Early Childhood and Recreation Center Project. The only other proposal from MidwestOne presented the district with bond rates of 2.0% and 2.5%, respectively.

Based on the advice from Oswald, the Board voted unanimously to approve the sale of bonds to Truist for $10 Million for district wide expansion projects, and 6-1, with Board Member Lynette Stream voting No, for $3 Million for the Early Childhood and Recreation Center Project.

The district also heard an update from Vitus Bering, of SVPA Architects, on the status of schemetic designs for the expansion projects. Highlights of Bering’s presentation include:
• Moving the elementary school classroom addition from the north side of the school to the southeast corner, building off in an area originally intended for future expansion.
• Including in the elementary addition a band/orchestra room.
• Converting the current stage and band/orchestra rooms at the elementary school to new lunchroom/cafeteria space.
• Including a new secured entry lobby and office for the Elementary School.
• Building a new Orchestra Room and Band Room at the High School.
• Converting half of the existing cafeteria to be used for other programs at the high school.
• Building new cafeteria space.
• Building a new secured entry lobby for the High School.

Bering said timeline wise, the district is on track to have construction documents ready to be bid out early next year. By December, any remaining facets of the projects will be finalized and Bering will begin working on the construction documents.
With little discussion, the board unanimously approved the schematic designs as they were presented at the meeting.

Next meeting of the Oskaloosa School Board will be on Oct. 27 at 5 p.m.

In other action, the board:
• Reviewed the current return to learn plan. By general consensus, it was agreed that administrators will more strictly enforce the district’s mask mandate at Oskaloosa athletic events and other activities.
• Approved allowing the rental of Oskaloosa facilties for practices only, for one hour increments, while the district is in Face-to-Face Learning model only.
• Approved the appointments of Makenzie Kauffman and Rachel Brown as Co-Head Boys Swimming Coach.
• Approved the appointment of District Advisory Committee Members.
• Approved the appointment of Board Member Charlie Comfort to serve as the district’s delegate at the IASB delegate assembly, as part of the annual Iowa Association of School Board annual convention.

Posted by on Oct 19 2020. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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