Schools submit application for bond approvalPublished 12:38am Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The Dowagiac Board of Education unanimously approved submission of a preliminary bond qualification application Monday for the remodeling of Dowagiac Middle School and the construction of a new high school building.
During the regular board meeting, Supt. Mark Daniel presented what the bond application will entail, including a request for $19.9 million in tax bonds. The funding would go to “erecting a new high school building, remodeling the middle school” and equipping the buildings with updated technology.
“We’ve seen some incredible growth at the schools that have (the technology) already,” Daniel said. “It’s the wave of the future.”
Daniel also highlighted savings features of the preliminary plans, which would include energy-efficient construction, reduction in maintenance and a higher utilization rate of the building.
“This would allow us to really stretch the use of our facilities,” Daniel said.
Costs for the project estimate new classroom space would equal $150 per square-foot, totaling $11.03 million. Pricing for renovations to the current high school facility equal $80 per square foot, totaling $9.3 million. The difference in the prices rests at $1.2 million.
“We see this as not a wish, but a need,” Daniel said.
The bond qualification application will be reviewed and returned to the board within 30 days “hopefully with an approval,” Daniel said. The estimated millage of the bond is 2.35, equating a cost of $47 per year to a resident with $20,000 of taxable home value. Daniel said residents could calculate their tax payments at www.mytaxcalc.com/dowagiac to get an approximate estimation for their property tax.
“We would like for the community to come forward and be very creative with the plans for this project,” Daniel said.
If the application is returned from the state’s treasury with an approval, the matter will go to vote Aug. 7. From that point, if the vote passes, bid requests will begin as early as January 2013. The estimated occupancy date at this time is fall 2015.