Perry school board moves ahead with bond sale, site prep

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Construction will soon begin on the new wrestling/multi-purpose area on the north side of Perry High School. Work is expected to be completed before the start of classes in August 2020.


Business was conducted in a brisk manner at the July 8 meeting of the Perry School Board, with the members addressing a number of finance-related issues, few of which generated any discussion.

Superintendent Clark Wicks informed the board that the Perry Arts and Cultural Enrichment Services (PACES) program received a $2,500 grant from the United Way. The funds will be used for literacy kits, summer snacks and other items for the popular program. PACES is entirely self-supporting and receives no programming funds from the school district.

Wicks also noted the closure of the north parking lot at Perry High School. Both the lot and all northern entrances will be closed until at least the start of the 2019-2020 academic year due to the construction of the new wrestling/multi-purpose room.

“We know it is going to be an issue and is something we are all just going to have to deal with,” Wicks said. “The benefits we will receive in the long run are worth the temporary problem.”

Perry School Board President Kyle Baxter opened a public hearing on the issuance of $6.5 million in general-obligation bonds for the construction of the two new additions at PHS, which include modifications and additions to the Industrial Tech Department. When no one from the public spoke, Baxter closed the hearing.

The board then quickly approved several financial matters related to the bond sale, including naming UMB Financial Corp. of Des Moines as the paying and transfer agent for the board as well as board registrar.

Tax-exempt and continuing-disclosure certificates were also approved as was the issuance of $6.5 million in bonds to fund the new projects.

Koester Construction of Grimes’ bid of $815,000 for the first package of the project was accepted. The first package covers site preparations.

The Raccoon Valley Bank in Perry was named the school district’s primary depository, with UA Bank, Wells Fargo and ISJIT chosen as supplemental depositories. Limits were set at $15 million for Raccoon Valley, $2 millions for UA Bank, $3 million for Wells Fargo and $8 million for ISJIT.

The Des Moines architectural firm Unesco was approved for master planning of future Perry Middle School projects. The firm will approse the board of their findings from a study of the facility and their conclusions about alternative options for the future improvement of the building and the learning environment for students.

According to the terms of the contract, if the school board agrees to use Unesco’s plans in the future, the master planning agreement will be without cost, but if the district chooses to use a different firm moving forward, the fee will be $8,000.

The board made several yearly appointments, including naming Kent Bultman as both secretary and treasurer for the board and retaining Drew Bracken of Ahlers and Cooney law firm in Des Moines as legal counsel.

Angelica Diaz-Cardenas was named Equity and Equal Opportunity and Affirmation Action officer as well as homeless coordinator. Laura Skeel was chosen as sec. 504 coordinator for the American with Disabilities Act, with Mel Raskie and Wicks appointed Level I investigators and Perry Police Chief Eric Vaughn as Level II investigator for any potential incidents involving student abuse by a school employee.

All appointments are for the 2019-2020 school year.

The disposal of tagged inventory items from the Perry Elementary School was approved, as were changes to board policy, the student handbook and several new hires.

The Perry School Board meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the Brady Library at Perry High School. The public is welcome to attend.

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