At its meeting Monday night the Board of Education discussed a probable bond issue proposal, which would mostly go for such items as parking lot repaving, new boilers and other infrastructure items.

To those who would say the district just went to the voters six years ago, resulting in passage of an $88.5 million bond issue, the board would respond that many needs were left off the ballot because of the high price tag. In addition, bond issue revenues can’t be used for maintenance.

The high school would be getting many of the upgrades from a bond issue including replacement of part of the roof, new acoustical tile in all 620,000 square feet of the building, replacement of the corridor flooring and four new boilers. The total cost of the high school projects alone in a $45 million bond issue would be $17 million. Although most of the items would be for infrastructure needs, there would be one brick-and-mortar project, and that would be construction of a $5 million STEAM Center at the high school.

Other items in such a bond issue would include completely rebuilding the parking lots at Scranton Middle School and Hilton Elementary, while the other parking lots would have partial rebuilds. Scranton was constructed in 1991 and the parking lot has never been repaved, making it 27 years old. Gray says the board will have to make a decision on whether to go to the public for approval of a bond issue at its next meeting if it wants to have the election this November.

It’s important to consider, Gray says, that passage of a bond issue would not increase the current school tax rate of 7.19 mills. He says due to an increase in the State Equalized Valuation of district property, the bond would have a 22-or-23-year payoff instead of the usual 30 years. He adds that with, or without, a new bond issue, the school millage rate is expected to drop off dramatically in 2022 or ‘23 to under four mills. (TT)