WHAT WE KNOW: The Orion school district has been pondering refinancing existing bonds to pay for building projects or floating a new bond issue. It also needs to decide whether to build a new preschool addition at C.R. Hanna Grade School or renovate existing space.
WHAT'S NEW: District architect Jeff Sandberg of Legat Architects reviewed a needs assessment survey and presented the district with projects at the three school buildings with an estimated cost of $7.8 million. That work included $3.5 million at the grade school, including $1.8 million for an early-learning center with four classrooms. At the middle school, the architect projected spending $1 million on a new HVAC system. A total of $1.3 million at the high school would go toward controlled entry upgrades, the building envelope, HVAC improvements and locker room upgrades. An enclosed walkway between buildings at the high school would cost $2 million. Board President Peter Nedved said the board had wanted an assessment of its facilities as they were talking about an early-learning center and an auditorium, and the presentation was "a complete plan as we move forward, not a piecemeal."
School board members also voted to refinance $920,200 worth of general obligation refunding school bonds, saving the district $99,000 to $100,000.
WHAT'S NEXT: Superintendent Joe Blessman said the board's June agenda would include a discussion of the dollar amounts presented by the architect. He said he didn't want to do anything that would raise the tax rate. "We certainly want to look into it with the building and grounds committee," he noted.