The Lakeland School Board was split at first on how much to fund for a list of recommended improvements around the district, but eventually came to an agreement of financing $6 million for 15 years.
The complete list had an estimated cost of $6.5 million, but board members David Larimer and Carey McKibben proposed lowering that to $4.25 million and discussing which projects to leave on the list. “I don’t feel all of the projects are ‘bonding’ type projects,” Larimer commented, noting that he didn’t agree with bonding for carpet and paint.
The board worked to keep the project list under a threshold that would have otherwise resulted in an increase in the tax rate for the district, while still addressing some pressing needs that can be funded by issuing bonds, which are at the lowest rate in recent history.
After a tie vote on the $4.25 proposal and the full $6.5 million for all projects, the board voted 4-2 to go with $6 million, with McKibben and Larimer dissenting.
Projects that were agreed upon include:
HVAC system work at the middle school.
Roofing work at Parkside, Lima-Brighton and Wolcott Mills Elementary schools.
Replacement lights for the gyms at Parkside and Wolcott Mills.
Renovating and improving front office area at Lima-Brighton for safety.
Replace gym floor and bleachers at Lima-Brighton and Wolcott Mills.
Add electronic access to Parkside, Lima-Brighton, and Wolcott Mills.
Add and improve baseball and soccer fields at Lima-Brighton.
Add underground sprinkler system to varsity baseball and softball fields at the high school.
Add baseball, soccer and tennis court lights at the high school.
The funding included the new corporation office and additional parking at the high school, which were previously approved by the board.
In other business:
The board accepted the retirement of Marlene Weaver, a teacher at Parkside Elementary, who has been an educator for 40 years.