School spending OK’d in Magnolia, Clayton

By PHIL DUNN, COURIER-POST 7:45 p.m. EST December 10, 2014

Voters in two towns approved proposals for millions of dollars in school improvements as part of a special election Tuesday. Garrison Architects provided design for both districts.

In Magnolia, voters passed a $6.5 million bond on a vote of 167 to 68. Plans include extensive interior and exterior improvements at the district’s lone school building.

Clayton voters also approved a $9.7 million proposal on a vote of 267 to 246. School officials said the plan includes various building and technology updates and a new $6 million, 750-seat auditorium at the high school/middle school complex.

Magnolia Schools approve referendum
Some of the updates to the Magnolia grade school will include new doors, windows and flooring, as well as a new heating system, air conditioning throughout the building, and a new emergency generator. In addition, the roof and boiler will be replaced, school officials said.(Photo: John Ziomek/Courier-Post file)


“It’s really a plus for our students,” Magnolia School Superintendent Dr. Warren Pross said of the project. “The fact this was a no-frills proposal, I think, was important.

“Every project we submitted is necessary.”

Magnolia’s pre-K through 8th grade school was built in 1938 and has not been upgraded since 1996, officials said.

Some of the updates will include new doors, windows, walls, ceilings and flooring, as well as new bookcases, lighting, a new heating system, air conditioning throughout the building, and a new emergency generator.

In addition, the roof and boiler will be replaced, school officials said.

Pross compared the school’s heating system to an old car.“It was getting to the point where at any given minute, it could need replacing.”

The annual tax impact for Magnolia homeowners will be an increase of about $112 on the average home assessed at $147,021. About $3.5 million of the total project cost will come from state aid, a mix of regular operating district (ROD) grants and annual debt service aid.

“We were very uncertain if this funding would be available a year from now or two years from now,” Pross noted. “So the time was now; the work needs to be done today, not tomorrow.“We thank the community for their support.”

In Clayton, the $9.7 million referendum is projected to be offset by about $2 million in state aid. However, a bulk of the proposed work, a $6 million, 750-seat performing arts center, is not eligible for aid.

The middle school/high school complex will also receive a partial roof replacement and new lighting at the football field. The plan also includes resurfacing the gym floor at Herma Simmons Elementary.

The overall project will cost Clayton taxpayers about $95 per year on the average home assessed at $153,952.

“We are very thankful to the voters that they were willing to look to the future, because this is great for the district and our community,” noted Clayton School Superintendent David Lindenmuth.“Our kids deserve the best.”

Lindenmuth said the district will begin to draw up bid specs for the projects as soon as possible and hopes to start construction over the summer.

 

 

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