Albion voters approve $14M capital project and $33M school budget

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Kelsee Soule, a member of the Albion FFA, puts a special sauce on the chicken barbecues that were prepared today. The FFA had 1,300 meals ready as part of a school budget vote tradition.

ALBION – Albion voters in a wide margin approved a $14.3 million capital project in a vote today. The school budget also sailed through.

The capital project includes work at the three school buildings as well as the bus garage. It was approved in a 313-55 vote.

The project will address numerous maintenance issues, infrastructure upgrades and safety improvements

The $14,370,548 project will be 91 percent covered by state funds. The district has its 9 percent share, $1,286,000, already in a local reserve fund, school officials said.

The project would replace half of the roofs, upgrade parking lots, improve drainage on athletic fields, resurface the track, and add some exterior lighting and utilize more LED lights.

The District Office, currently housed in what was intended to be a temporary metal building in the 1964, would be demolished and those offices would shift to existing space at the middle school.

At the high school, the 1,200 high school lockers that are less than 9 inches wide would be replaced with 800 lockers that are a foot wide. The bigger lockers would allow students to better store their thick backpacks and winter coats.

The capital project would also include stronger doors at school entrances and card access controls.

The fire alarm would be replaced with a new system at the elementary school, which would also see a relocated flag pole to the front of the building, HVAC upgrades, additional exterior lighting, and a new playground on west side.

The elementary school would also receive a shading system on the south side to reduce solar heat gain in the warmer months.

The work at the elementary school adds up to $5,249,261.

The capital project also will replace some single-pane windows in the middle school with more energy-efficient windows, upgrade the sound booth, improve the boiler and heating system, add exterior lights to northeast side of the school, widen the sidewalk by bus loading zone and replace decaying steel hand railing with aluminum ones.

The middle school work would cost an estimated $5,730,265.

The high school library would also be repurposed with new technology to meet the needs of the 21st Century.

The high school track would also be resurfaced and better drainage would be added to the football field.

The high school improvements would cost an estimated $2,851,885.

The capital project would also include work on the bus garage, adding an emergency generator, and new doors and lighting at an estimated $539,137.

The proposed $33,240,940 budget passed in a 313-55 vote. The budget reduces spending by $310,111 and the tax levy will drop by 1 percent to $8,355,939.

A proposition to spend $460,000 for buses passed 314-51. The proposition for $680,411 for Hoag Library passed 241-125.

There were two candidates for two five-year terms on the Board of Education. Incumbent Marie Snyder received 311 votes and Chantelle Sacco received 292.