School reviews proposed $21m price tag  for projects

There are three main components of the work at Shenandah High color-coded on the image provided. The grey areas on the image are areas of the building where the majority of the anticipated work will be related to the HVAC system, ADA compliance, energy efficiency, safety and esthetics, parking lot improvements and other infrastructure needs. The lighter grey areas on the image are areas of the building that would be repurposed to expand STEM education and maximize the space to be as efficient as possible. The darkest grey areas are new additions. (graphic courtesy of Shenandoah Community Schools)

The Shenandoah School Board broke down its facility improvement cost list into two projects. Both projects total $21 million.

The amount was reviewed during the board’s meeting held Monday, Aug. 12.

At an estimated cost of $6.3 million, the high school would have improved climate-control systems; improved accessibility for those with disabilities; safety; parking lot and other needs.

Supt. Dr. Kerri Nelson explained that project would be paid for using SAVE funds and “will not impact the levy.”

“We are able to borrow against the SAVE fund for 11 years to generate enough revenue,” she said. SAVE is formerly known as the local-option sales tax.

The remaining $14.7 million estimate would be for a career technical education wing that would include agriculture, auto technology and construction. The estimate also includes a new gymnasium with a fitness area.

“That will require a bond issue,” Nelson said. The bond issue could be on the November ballot.

Shenandoah’s levy is $14.60 and an additional $2.70 would be added if the bond passes.

“There has been discussion about how we can lessen the impact of the levy by reducing other operations funds, specifically the management fund, by $.95,” Nelson said.

State aid, enrollment and property valuations would also influence the budget. Reducing the levy by $1.75 would make the new amount at $16.35.

“What does $16.35 do to me,” Nelson rhetorically asked. “Some would be quite comfortable with it. Some, including those on a fixed budget, would have to adjust.”

At $16.35 per $1,000 in assessed valuation, a home assessed at $100,000 would have an additional $91.12 in property taxes. That is about $7.59 a month more.

“This is the best talking point we can have,” Nelson said.

In other board action…

Contracts were approved for Amber Taylor, kindergarten through eighth-grade associate; Chelsie Reynolds, high school associate; Jamey Thompson, substitute bus driver; and Megan Rainey and Juliane LaRock, prekindergarten associates.

Resignations from Risa Graham as high school associate and Steve Horel as a driver were approved. Ashley Pease was approved to transfer from driver/food service to full-time driver.

Early graduation requests for Bryton Davis, Dakota Oldham, Anna Olsen, Monica Ontiveros and Connell Racine were approved for December, pending all requirements are met.

Pay modifications were approved for Bill Novinger, Brent Wilcox, Brittany Comstock, Holly Olson, Jamey Thompson, Janet Dukes, Kathy Larson, Katie Branson, Kayla Michaelson, Maria Mather, Megan Dukes, Michelle Carlock, Michelle Tillman, Sara Wilcox, Shari Pitman, Susan Opal, Susie Tillman and Terri Henderson.

A contract for Complete Weddings and Events was approved for homecoming DJ services.

Board approved expending $7,307 from the flexibility account for preschool and extended learning.

Funds of $144,150 from debt service to physical plant and equipment levy were also approved.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9.

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