Friday, February 03, 2023

Arlee voters approve bonds for building project

by Kristi Niemeyer
Editor | November 17, 2022 12:00 AM

Arlee School District voters approved two bond issues in last Tuesday’s election, clearing the way for the district to build a new 20,000-square foot structure to house grades 3-6.

The building project will replace the Arlee Upper Elementary School, which was erected in 1936 and according to the district website, has dated heating, ventilation and electrical systems, environmental hazards, structural problems and accessibility issues.

District residents voted 467 to 246 to authorize the district to sell and issue general obligation bonds for up to $6 million, to be repaid by taxpayers over the next 25 years. They also voted 474 to 237 to authorize the district to sell and issue federal Impact Aid revenue bonds for up to $3 million, at no cost to taxpayers.

The total project will cost an estimated $14.5 million with an additional $4 million generated by an Impact Aid grant, and another $1.5 coming from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund.

The project, as outlined on the website, includes designing, constructing, furnishing, and equipping an addition to the existing kindergarten through second grade building to create a consolidated K-6 school. Classrooms and support spaces, a new library, administrative offices, and restrooms are included.

The project also upgrades mechanical, electrical, and information technology systems and reconfigures existing K-2 spaces. The 88-year old building that now houses grades 3-6 will be removed and/or repurposed.

“We are so grateful for the support in our desire to improve our facilities for the wonderful students and community of Arlee,” wrote Superintendent Mike Perry in a post last Wednesday. “Thank you so much.”

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