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Board OKs repairs, boundary changes, 2012-13 calendar
The School Board has approved spending $5 million-plus in left-over bond money to take a whack out of an $11.9 million list of major repairs needed at the district’s schools. It also OK'd school boundary changes and the district calendar for 2012-13. (Boundary-change maps are linked at the bottom of this news item.)
The Battle Ground School Board on June 4 approved spending $5 million-plus in left-over bond money to take a whack out of an $11.9 million list of major repairs needed at the district’s schools. It also OK'd school boundary changes and the district calendar for 2012-13.
The list of major school repairs includes leaking roofs and moldy rooms, weakened walkway overhangs, crumbling parking lots and troubled septic and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems.
At the same time, the Board voted to “return” in the form of property-tax savings $456,000 in unspent money from the 2005 voter-approved bond measure. The vote was 4-1, with John Idsinga, Steve Pagel, Ken Root and Mavis Nickels in favor and Monty Anderson dissenting.
Anderson favored returning to property owners the unspent money plus state matching funds and interest accrued over the years for a total of $5,541,887. In return, he proposed asking voters to approve a new, larger bond measure this fall.
The Board’s action will mean a one-time reduction in the “debt service” payments as indicated on annual property tax bills. MaryBeth Lynn, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, estimates the $456,000 will amount to about 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. On a $200,000 house that amount will be approximately $16 less than it otherwise would have been.
The $456,000 was intended to prepare land in Amboy for construction of a third comprehensive high school in the district. That plan has been shelved for various reasons, including enrollment declines. That money was not spent. Because of verbal statements and non-binding written statements by the district in 2004 and 2005, the Board voted to return the $456,000 as a property tax reduction and use the state matching money and interest for making some of the needed repairs now.
First up: These projects lead the to-do list, with work beginning this summer:
* Replace roofs over the outdoor walkways at Laurin Middle School.
* Repair rigging above the stage in the Prairie High School auditorium.
* Replace flooring and drains in five restrooms on Pleasant Valley campus.
* Replace roof on the south side of Yacolt Primary School.
* Replace sprinklers and renovate front office at Maple Grove Middle.
Lynn said other summer projects might be added within the next few days.
2012-13 calendar approved
The Board approved the district-proposed calendar for the 2012-13 academic year, which was developed with input from all employee groups. It shows starting and ending days, snow makeup day, early-release days, holidays, graduations, etc. Click here to see the calendar.
School boundary changes approved
The Board approved changes in attendance-area boundaries for all of the primary and middle schools except Amboy and Yacolt. No high schools were affected. Various options had been made public via the district Website and a public “listening post” meeting May 29 at the former Lewisville Middle School. One change not in early options was an addition to the Capt. Strong-Chief Umtuch area.
The changes were forced by changing enrollments and projections for residential growth in the south end of the district, septic system limitations at the Glenwood-Laurin campus, improvements to state Highway 502 and upcoming changes at the Maple Grove schools as a result of repeated failure to meet Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Board member Ken Root recused himself from participating in the discussion and the vote on the Maple Grove changes because of what he termed a conflict of interest. His wife, Katy, teaches at Maple Grove Primary.
The district has created new attendance area maps, which are accessible on the district Website. They will be replaced this summer by higher-quality maps the county will produce. Questions about boundaries: 885-6577.
Here are the new school attendance-area maps. Higher quality versions will be produced by the county in early summer and will replace these versions.
Capt. Strong-Chief Umtuch (The top of this map says "all service areas" but the focus Chief-Captain)