Copyright 2014 The Pantagraph
GIBSON CITY - Even though the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley School District has the money to pay for planned improvements, the school board has approved issuing general obligation bonds for the work.
At a meeting in April, board President Rod Cope said the board was considering financing because members were concerned about budget discussions in Springfield and suggested cuts to education.
"The reason we are doing this is with upcoming legislation, we don't know what's going to happen," Cope said. "If we deplete our funds, how can we run the school?"
In February, the board awarded a $1.2 million performance contract to GRP Mechanical Company for improvements at its three schools.
Plannned projects at the high school include a new gym floor, gym bleachers, gym windows, and a new gym heating and air conditioning. Other HVAC improvements are planned the shop wing, along with installing outdoor lighting and motion sensors in the gym and shop areas, roof repairs and other work.
At the middle school, work includes replacing classroom hardware with interior lockable units, improvements to the HVAC controls, and installing outdoor lighting.
At the elementary school, projects include installing new fire-rated walls and doors, installing operable egress windows in classrooms, installing new windows in the gym, cafeteria, and locker rooms; and putting a new roof over the kitchen and cafeteria.
The district has received grants for some of the work and also will use TIF and life-safety funds.
The $1 million general obligation debt certificates will be issued by Busey Bank at a rate of 1.66 percent interest. Including issuance costs, the rate is just over 2 percent.
Kevin Hyde, of Stifel Nicolaus, a brokerage and banking firm, told the board last week that Busey gave an excellent bid.
"We are very, very happy with it," Hyde said.