Lakeview Community Schools bond issue moves forward

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 12:00 pm on Tuesday, November 13, 2012

LAKEVIEW — Lakeview Community Schools district voters will likely be looking at a $12.5 million bond proposal this February if all goes as expected for a proposal approved Monday evening by the Lakeview school board.

If passed by voters, the bond would adjust the system’s current 6.92 mills to 7.0 and also would extend its current debt. For a taxpayer owning a home with a current market value of $80,000, the increase to his or her current annual tax levy would be $3.20 per year.

The proposal has been in the works for months. A bond steering committee headed by board member Daryl Johnson and comprised of area residents, business owners and school personnel examined the immediate and future needs of the school system before making its recommendation to the full board.

“This is what we felt our needs were and what we could expect the community to buy into,” Johnson said. “I think we came up with a pretty good plan.”

The five stages of that plan include the demolition of Lakeview Elementary School, with the exceptions of the administrative office addition and gymnasium addition.

The grades currently housed there would be moved to an expanded Bright Start Elementary School, to which classrooms and support areas would be added to handle the entire elementary program. The Bright Start building also would receive minor remodeling to accommodate increased educational use.

The plan also calls for minor remodeling of the middle school. This would include casework, lighting, mechanical upgrades, replacement of the gym wall to stop water infiltration and replacement of the roof and phone system. Additionally, there would be furniture and technology upgrades there.

The high school also would receive minor upgrades or improvements to the science areas and some classrooms. This would include lighting, casework, finishes and an improved fire alarm system. Mechanical system improvements, as well as door replacements, furniture replacements and a partial roof replacement also are called for in the plan.

Finally, the existing bus garage would receive a new roof and exterior designed to prevent water infiltration. New buses also are included in the proposal.

Board President Ed Jonaitis stressed to board members that details of the plan are still being hammered out, though the proposal itself is more or less finalized and cannot be altered.

“The general concept of the project is what we can’t change now,” Jonaitis said, adding that the details being worked out will be made available to the public soon.

“We want to encourage the public, if they have questions, to ask us,” Jonaitis said. “If I don’t know, I can look it up.”

Jonaitis commended the bond committee on its work, noting the members voted unanimously in favor of the proposal.

This marks the second stage in bringing the proposal before voters. In October, the board voted to meet with the state treasury department to get initial approval to put the matter on the ballot.

On Monday, the board approved the application for preliminary qualification of bonds. By Nov. 28, the board will begin the process of educating area residents as to the particulars of the proposal. The full campaign to promote the project will get under way some time after that.

“This is what we need to do for our district at this time,” Jonaitis said.

Board member Tim Reed echoed that sentiment.

“This isn’t a want list,” Reed said. “This is what we need to be doing to be good stewards of the system.”

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