The Knox Community School Board held a Project and Preliminary Determination Hearing Monday night prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.
Superintendent A.J. Gappa explained the need for the project construction. He said the Palmer Wing is 60 years old and is deteriorating. The structure needs to provide an adequate educational setting for the students and infrastructure to make that possible.
“We don’t want our students in our elementary school to be at a disadvantage from other communities,” said Gappa. “Because of the condition of some of the rooms and the lack of modern standards for technology and so forth, we thought there was a need for improvement.”
Gappa said two members of the public gave their comments during the meeting.
“We had two patrons speak in favor of the potential construction. They thought it would increase property values and also increase the educational program that we can give to our students here in the Knox community,” said Gappa.
After the public hearing was closed, a vote was taken by the board on the proposed resolution.
“They did approve moving forward with the potential project. They approved the limits that had been set during the hearing. A hard cost cap of about $12.5 million and a total cost of $16 million was given so the project can not go beyond that. The tax rate is basically just a bit over $.28 per one hundred as a maximum,” Gappa said.
If the bonds are sold at the current rates, the tax rate could be a little less than that.
Gappa explains the scope of the project.
“As far as construction, the resolution talked about building a new wing to the west of the building, but also some renovations in the 1991 wing to bring that up to speed. Where the current central office is in the one wing of the Palmer end, a renovation is planned. It would just be upgraded – nothing new would be built in that area,” said Gappa.
The board will be moving forward with the project now that this portion of the planning stage is complete. More action on the proposed project is expected in January.