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Rugby school bond issue passes

By Staff | Jun 9, 2010

Rugby School District voters passed a bond issue 55 years ago to complete a new addition at the Rugby High School.

Fifty-five years later, voters have approved another, this time to complete major renovation on that 1955 wing of the school plus build a new commons-cafeteria at the Jr.-Sr. High.

At the June 8 school election, voters approved by a 537-318 margin to fund up to $6 million in zero interest general obligation bonds to complete renovation and construct a new addition.

A sixty percent or more “Yes” vote was necessary for the bond measure to pass, and the 537 votes equated to just about 63 percent approval.

Jeff Lind, school superintendent, said the vote reveals strong support for the planned improvements.

“This project will serve the community well and serve the needs of students for years to come,’ he said. “It’s definitely a positive step for the district.”

The Rugby School Board earlier this year called for the election to finance the planned project.

“I am extremely pleased with the results,’ said Susan Schmaltz, school board member. “I think this outcome shows residents here care about our youth and understand the need to keep our schools in good shape.”

Mark Hamilton, school board member, was also thankful of the voter response as well as those residents who took the initiative to form a committee, promoting the passage of the bond issue.

“We were a little concerned about how the voters would react (to this bond issue request), since there was a large city street project completed last year,’ Hamilton said. “I think the fact this project was going to be funded with zero interest bonds was a big factor, especially for those who were on the fence on this issue.”

Cory Johnson, board member, said the outcome shows the community is progressive-minded and understand that the school is an important part of it.

The school board will adopt the necessary resolutions to advertise the sale of the bonds, according to Lind. It’s likely a special meeting will need to be called some time in the next few weeks to complete these steps. Public Finance Management is the entity working with the district in the selling of the bonds which could occur by mid-summer.

Once this hurdle is crossed, school officials can focus on the final project designs and work with Zerr Berg, project architect, on outlining a construction schedule.

Up to this point Zerr Berg has been drafting general designs and proposed work, but now that funding will be secured, it can complete more specific plans.

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