School district to run bond election
POLSON — A leaking roof at Polson High School in June of 2012 and repair/replacement costs prompted School District 23’s board of trustees to propose a high school debt service bond election. The 10-year bond is for $2,491,000, and each successive year, the taxpayer pays less.
“Our goal is to pay it off as quickly as possible,” Superintendent Linda Reksten said.
As far as the history of levies, Lake County Election Administrator Kathie Newgard said a general fund levy passed each year from 2003 to 2007, with an elementary bond also passing in 2006. In 2008 a general fund levy failed, and in 2011, both a high school building reserve and a high school technology acquisition levy failed.
“The bond is important for the health and safety of the kids,” Superintendent Linda Reksten said. “A lot of people have the thought the high school is relatively new, but it’s not. It’s 40 years old.”
Reksten said impact aid funds were used to fix the most critical third of the roof in June.
As well as the roof, heating units on the roof also are in need of replacement, Reksten said. Those units will have to be lifted off to take the roof down to its concrete bones.
“It’s not that the district didn’t take care of the (heating units),” Reksten said. “We got much more life out of the heating units than was predicted.”
“We babied the (heating units) along for years,” said Dan Kinyon, facilities manager and maintenance director for the schools. “... We’ve improved so much in the last 40 years, and the savings is going to be quite a bit.”
If he had to prioritize the facilities problems with PHS, Kinyon said, it would be the roof, the heating system and then the fascia and soffits.
“In my opinion, it really all needs replacing,” Kinyon stated
Temp-Rite, a heating and air conditioning firm, did many tests on PHS, including smoke testing, so the district would have firm costs to present to the public.
According to brochures produced by the school district, the $2,491,000 high school debt service bond is broken down into the following parts:
• Building wide re-roof and envelope upgrades, $563,000
• Replacing mechanical, heating and ventilation, $997,000
• Exterior building fascia and soffit replacement, $245,000
• Asbestos, mold and lead remediation, $109,000
• Project design, management, contingencies and fees, $577,000
Trustees and Reksten have been presenting information to the public. They had about 15 people at a meeting at the Mission Valley Elks and a “full house” at Kiwanis, Reksten said.
On Jan. 19, two trustees journeyed to Rollins to give community members the facts, and this week they’ll visit the Polson Rotary Club.
The ballots will be mailed on Feb. 5 and are due back into the Lake County Election Office by 5 p.m. Feb. 26.
Public question and answer forums will be held on Tuesday, Jan 29, and Thursday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the PHS library.
Additional information is available on the school district’s website at www.polson.k12.mt.us under “district” and then “school board.” Community members may also contact school board members or Reksten.