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School board to receive cost estimate on improvements

By Staff | Mar 11, 2010

The current cost estimate to complete extensive renovation and new construction at the Rugby Jr.-Sr. High is $6 million, but school officials will receive a more firm cost estimate next month once the project architect prepares construction plans.

At its March 9 board meeting, Jeff Lind, school superintendent, said the firm, Zerr Berg, has met with faculty to get input on possible renovation and use of space. They will compile that data and share it with project officials next month and that will help to define a specific scope of the project.

A list of the potential renovation or construction includes:remodeling classrooms in the 1955 wing of the building, removing asbestos, electrical and heating and cooling exchange upgrades, an addition to the gym commons area, and improvements to the auditorium, band and vocational agriculture departments.

Zerr Berg will also begin construction plans for the replacement of windows at Ely Elementary as well as lighting and electrical upgrades there. The district does have some set aside stimulus funds to use on the project and may tap into some funds offered through local utility companies, Lind told the board.

At the meeting, the board also officially entered a contract with Zerr Berg to provide services. In February, the board selected the Fargo company over three other firms which provided work proposals.

The board next month will likely begin the legal process of notifying the public about calling for the issuance of general obligations bonds at the June 8 school election. The maximum amount of bonds the district at this time could request is $6 million. That’s because the district can only borrow five percent of its current taxable valuation of just over $120 million.

If the bond issue is put on the ballot, it must be supported by at least 60 percent of voters to move forward.

The board worked with an ad hoc committee of district residents late last year to tour the school buildings and discuss the need for facility improvements. The committee agreed renovation is warranted. Board members hope in the next several weeks to sell the project to others, and set into motion plans for improving the learning and working environment at the schools.

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