District to start planning process in December

By Jason Arndt

Editor

Following taxpayer approval of a multi-million dollar facilities referendum in early November, the Burlington Area School District looks to begin the planning process on Dec. 10, when the School Board will start putting together a financing plan.

As part of the financing plan, according to Superintendent Peter Smet, the School Board will also decide how much of the $43.7 million to borrow up front and when.

“When you borrow money for a project like this, it has to be used in a certain time frame,” said Smet, noting the board will take several areas into consideration, including interest rates.

The project includes about $32.7 million to replace Karcher Middle School, security and maintenance upgrades, and reconfiguring middle school grade levels.

Many hurdles

The financing plan, meanwhile, is just one aspect of the extensive planning phase.

“We are going to be in the planning phase until probably August (2019),” Smet said. “That is architect planning, construction planning, city approval planning and building permits.”

According to Smet, he projects construction crews could break ground by September or October 2019.

Plans of where the new middle school will be constructed have not been finalized, but according to Smet, the football field next to the current Karcher Middle School is most likely.

“Tentatively, they are looking at all options on that site,” he said. “The most likely option is constructing it on the existing football field.”

Smet said construction of the new middle school could take up to two years to complete.

While construction crews work on the project, the current Karcher Middle School will still be used, at least until 2021-22.

To read the entire story see the Nov. 29 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.

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