First Hearing For Warsaw Schools’ $30M Bond Held

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First Hearing for Warsaw Schools’ $30M Bond Held

March 9, 2021 | Jackie Gorski

Warsaw School Board held its first preliminary determination hearing in regards to applying for a maximum of $30 million in lease bonds to work on projects at the high school and career center.

Board President Heather Reichenbach  said the project is “the renovation of and improvements to Warsaw Community High School, including classroom additions and renovations, safety and security improvements and HVAC upgrades.”

The school board must hold at least two public hearings and adopt a resolution in regards to the issuance of the bonds according to Indiana code, Reichenbach said.

Todd Samuelson, partner at Baker Tilly, stated the estimated maximum repayment term for the bonds is 20 years.

Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert talked about the importance of why WCS maintains a 10-year rotation of building maintenance in place. He said taking care of buildings now saves in costlier repairs later.

He said the proposed projects will have no tax rate impact. The funds used in these projects cannot be used for needs outside of construction, such as salaries or health insurance for school corporation staff.

During his presentation, Hoffert touched on the history of the school system, saying WCHS is going on 30 years, with some parts of the building going back as far as 1984 or 1985.
Hoffert also went over some of the projects that will be worked on with the bonds.

The first project is academic classroom spaces, including replacing carpet, paint, lighting and ceiling. The temporary walls at the Warsaw Area Career Center will be removed, Hoffert said.

The HVAC system will be upgraded. He said the there has been a noise difference between the classrooms that have been already upgraded and the ones that have been not. Teachers have noted there is more temperature control in the updated classrooms. Electrical outlets will be updated so they can charge devices like iPads, as well as make sure they are actually working, Hoffert said.

Another project that will be worked on is a main entry/welcome point at the high school with controlled access points. Hoffert said when WCHS was built, there were 52 or 53 points of entry, which was necessary at the time it was built. Since then, things have changed and the access points need to change along with it.

Upgrading the WCHS lockers will be worked on, as how lockers are used have changed. How and which lockers are used will be looked at, as well as possibly making them multifunctional. Chief Financial Officer April Fitterling said these projects are set for summer 2022.

Reichenbach  said the next hearing will be at 7 p.m. Monday at WCHS.

In other business, the board heard a presentation from Dr. David Robertson, assistant superintendent for elementary schools, in regards to security systems in the school corporation. He stated he will ask the board to vote to move all the security systems to RAPTOR systems during Monday’s meeting.

WCS currently uses RAPTOR for its visitor management system, Robertson said. The system allows school staff to scan in a visitor’s state-issued ID. The system does an instant nationwide sex offender registry check when someone scans in. The systems also allows the schools to track visitors to see how long they stayed. It allows WCS to customize alerts if someone has a no trespass order on school grounds. If someone with that type of order has their ID scanned, an alert will be issued to local law enforcement. WCS uses other systems to provide school safety when dealing with such things as school evacuations and lockdowns. Robertson said he wants to use RAPTOR systems for those, too.

He said streamlining all the systems to one provider will be more efficient as it will help the systems perform better together.

There will be an annual increase for the safety systems, going from $12,100 to $19,800.

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