Local News

Thayer Central board members place two bond issues on ballot

Proposition B contingent on passage of Proposition A.

Thayer Central School board members will put an $11.1 million bond issue on the ballot this November after passing the resolution in a special meeting last week. The issue is for “paying the costs of consolidating grades PreK-12 within the District’s existing Intermediate School and Jr./Sr. High school buildings,” according to Proposition A.

Throughout the summer months, Thayer Central board members and administration staff have introduced the plan to the public in three town-hall style meetings. In the latest overview last week, a few changes to the floor plan were introduced, but did not change the overall costs.

A second bond issue (Proposition B) will address planned construction of a $4.7 million fine arts facility. Proposition B will only be eligible for consideration if Proposition A passes at the polls.

Thayer Central Superintendent Drew Harris also presented cost projections for facility improvements should the bond issue fail. Totaling approximately $4.5 million, the primary, intermediate and high school buildings will need work to comply with safety standards through 2013-14.

Some tagged improvements include an approximate $300,000 gymnasium renovation in the primary building as the current gym does not meet state fire codes. Should Proposition A pass, the primary building and the surrounding yard would be vacated and sold. Other large ticket items at the primary school include a replacement building for the existing annex trailer, structural improvements to classrooms, mechanical and electrical work and restroom renovations. In total, an estimated $1.07 million is earmarked for the primary building alone.

For the intermediate building, restroom, locker, and weight room renovations add up to approximately $300,000 while finishes to the gymnasium and classrooms could run as high as $478,000.  New ceilings, fire protection, floor coverings and paint and mechanical and electrical work add up to an approximate $1.07 million in repairs and renovations as well.

The lion’s share of renovation needs goes to the high school building where gymnasium and classroom finishes as well as mechanical and electrical work will run about $1 million. Other improvements such as locker and restroom renovations, hallway and stair floor coverings and paint, new ceilings and fire protection will cost an additional $565,000.

Harris also said that cost savings each year should Proposition A pass would run approximately $103, 500 each year. “Basically closing the primary school would save the district that much each year,” he said. “We would save $19,800 from utilities like heating and electricity; add $9,700 to that if you include the church annex for our junior pre-kindergarten classes.” In Proposition A, use of the church annex would not be necessary as the youngsters would also be moved to the main campus. Staff duplication would save another $38,500, he said and added transportation to lunch and other activities would no longer be necessary and would save $10,750. Other savings would come from the elimination of annual maintenance of the buildings and grounds ($14,000), meals to the preschool ($5,800), and extra site licenses ($4,500).

Thayer Central will hold its annual budget hearing Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Administration staff and school board members welcome comments and questions about the two proposals. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

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