Drayton school asks voters for $3.15 million for renovationsThe Drayton (N.D.) School District is asking voters to approve a $3.15 million bond issue on Oct. 9. The money is needed for a new roof and several other physical improvements to the elementary-high school building, according to Superintendent Hy Schlieve.
By: Kevin Bonham, Grand Forks Herald
The Drayton (N.D.) School District is asking voters to approve a $3.15 million bond issue on Oct. 9.
The money is needed for a new roof and several other physical improvements to the elementary-high school building, according to Superintendent Hy Schlieve.
“It’s about 20 years ago since the roof was worked on,” he said. “We’re looking at some air handling issues. The building is just about 50 years old and the old units are wearing out. Repairs would cost just about as much as new.”
Drayton, with a population of 824, is one of five Red River Valley communities that are home to American Crystal Sugar factories. Unionized workers have been locked out for more than a year because of a contract dispute, and, though many here reportedly found other jobs or retired, few made what they had made at the local factory.
But now is as good a time as any for a bond issue because the repairs are needed, according to Schlieve. “We started looking at this two years ago.”
Enrollment in the district totaled 149 on the first day of school, but he said he expects it to rise slightly by mid-term. “We’ve been increasing a little bit every year for the past five years.”
The bond issue requires 60-percent approval to pass. Polls will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 9.
A public meeting to discuss the bond issue will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 26.
Three previous public meetings were sparsely attended.
“Until the rubber meets the road, people are just saying do what needs to be done,” Schlieve said.
He said he expects attendance will be greater at the next meeting.
While the district has not calculated how much the proposed tax increase would raise individual property taxes, he said estimates should be available in time for the meeting.
The bond would pay for the new roof, a new pump system for circulating hot water, air-flow improvements in the kitchen and ventilation improvements.
The elementary-school side of the building has air conditioning but not the high-school side, Schlieve said.
Besides the bond issue, the district also is beginning this fall to make $500,000 worth of energy conservation improvements, according to Schlieve.
The school district has entered into an agreement with Energy Services Group, West Fargo, to replace lights and plumbing throughout the building.
Energy savings are expected to pay for the project over the next 15 years, Schlieve said.
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