Dist. 205 to consider alternative borrowing for building renovations

The District 205 Board of Education could be asked to approve the issuing of $17 million in debt certificates in June towards paying for the building renovation work.

At Monday’s meeting, Superintendent Dr. John Asplund stressed that rather than issue Health/Life/Safety Bonds, it was in the district’s best interest to issue debt certificates, which give the district more flexibility with how money is spent.

With debt certificates, he said that the district could save taxpayers money, enhance the building plans, or a combination of the two.

Asplund also told board members that the administration had heard rumblings of a state-funded capital project that could be revived that may offer assistance with paying for the renovation work.

The district was given preliminary approval for $12 million for work done at Steele and Lombard in 2010, but the state killed the project when there wasn’t money to fund it.

Asplund said the preliminary discussions on the new formula for the program would see the state zeroing out the waiting list, so the administration was pushing to be moved towards the top of the list.

“So, we would like to press our case in Springfield that if they are going to revive this program, that we would either be given the $12 million they owe us or we would be jumped to the front of the line of a new program because we are embarking on this building study that we are doing right now.”

Another step towards the demolition of the Zephyr Dome was taken by school board members.

Board members approved the recommended subcontract from Iron Hustlers of Peoria for the demolition and clean up at a cost of over $105,512 – significantly lower than the estimated $300,000.

Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Hamm told the board at last night’s meeting, that the project would take a month to complete and begin after the school year ended.

“They are going to begin demolition right after the end of the school year if the board approves it [Monday night.] It should be a month-long project and we don’t anticipate there to be any issues.”

Iron Hustlers bid was $17,488 less than the next closest bidder, Hein Construction.

A third bid, from Fischer Excavating, came in at $129,400.

Superintendent Asplund told the board that several items from the gym were taken from the grounds, including lockers, artwork, and scoreboards.

He said that the building is so unsafe, not much more can be saved.

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