The Perry Community School District Board of Education agreed Monday at their monthly meeting to the issuance of $6.5 million in general obligation bonds.
The bonds will pay for the design and construction of the new industrial tech and multi-purpose rooms at Perry High School.
School district voters gave their consent to move ahead with the construction plans in a Feb. 5 special election. The abstract of that vote was approved by the board Monday. A total of 735 ballots were cast, 656 were Yes votes and 79 were No votes.
Unesco Inc., the project’s construction managers, had a team of architects and planners at the meeting, with Brian Crawford introducing Kevin Barringer, Unesco’s director of architecture. Both thanked the board for choosing Unesco to proceed with the project and congratulated the Vote ‘Yes’ committee and the community for the level of support shown.
Barringer said preliminary work has begun and two separate bid lettings are planned. The first, to be held in mid-May, would begin the rough construction, utility work and other early stages of the project, with a second round of bids taken in the late fall or early winter as the second phase of work begins.
They said they plan to finish the project in time for the beginning of the 2020 school year.
Board Secretary Kent Bultman offered a preview of the preliminary certified budget for fiscal year 2020. He noted the tax rate would be set at $20.78 per $1,000 of valuation, a decrease of 75 cents from the current rate of $21.53.
The board approved publishing the proposed budget and set a public hearing date of April 8 at 6 p.m. in the Brady Library at Perry High School. They also passed a budget guarantee resolution.
Junior class prom committee members Hannah Peterson, Molly Lutmer, Carly Herrera and Odaly Perla spoke to the board, detailing past fundraising efforts and upcoming events. The committee had a goal of raising $15,000 and reached $12,000.
As in past years, the board later agreed to donate $500 to the prom committee.
Superintendent Clark Wicks reported that each of the three schools had received a school emergency alert radio system (SEARS) from the Dallas County Sheriffs office. The radios will only be used in the event of an active intruder, and the simple pressing of a button will alert a wide range of authorities, who will immediately respond and continue en route to the school until at least two authorities have individually called off the response.
Wicks also addressed a recent situation in which a threat — swiftly deemed to lack credibility — had been made against the Perry Middle School.
“Every day there are a lot of different situations that we have to deal with,” he said. “If there is a credible situation, then we will contact the right people to make the right moves.”
The board approved an agreement with the University of Northern Iowa for the placement of student teachers for the 2019-2020 school year. Several policy matters and personnel items also received board approval.
In other actions, the board consented to joining an arrangement for ethernet services with the Iowa Communications Network beginning July 1. The monthly cost would be $2,688, but an 80 percent e-rate discount will lower to price to $537 monthly. The annual rate will be $6,451.20, which the board locked in for 36 months.
The board entered an exempt session to discuss negotiation strategies pending Thursday’s open meeting with the Perry Education Association, which will be held at 4 p.m. in the conference room at the Perry Elementary School.
After the closed session, the board reopened the meeting in order officially to adjourn. The Perry School Board meets the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Brady Library at Perry High School. The public is welcome to attend.