By Justin Hunter
CHURUBUSCO – A sectional championship banner may not be the only new addition to a Smith-Green Community Schools’ building this upcoming season. The gym will be receiving a major rework of the heating and cooling system.
Smith-Green board members held a special meeting last week about a bond for the junior/senior high school and elementary school buildings.
Members approved a bond that will provide up to $2 million worth of projects for those buildings. The main project involves the heating and cooling ventilation system in the high school gym. The equipment currently in use is from the 1950s.Work will take place this year. The schools will also have general maintenance improvements throughout the buildings.
The Indiana constitution states that public entities cannot incur debt through such projects. The only way a school is able to borrow money for projects is to create a way in which the school can pay off a loan.
It is unclear if property taxes will be raised for the projects. District Attorney Erik Weber is optimistic that property taxes will not be raised for the project, but a series of meetings will clarify whether or not that is the case.
The board looked into the possibility of spending no money on capitol projects in 2017, and utilize money in savings to overcome the General Fund shortfall. Smith-Green board members decided instead to take out the $2 million bond to take care of budget issues for the next two years to complete the projects.
Some proposed projects that the $2 million project are:
• $600,000 for the HVAC at the high school;
• $155,000 for the elementary school HVAC;
• $160,000 to remodel the junior high restrooms; and
• $1.2 million in general maintenance — $600,000 per year for the next two years.
The project will be completed in order of necessity – starting with the HVAC system, which is more than 60 years old.