TROY – Troy voters are being asked to vote in November for a $1.38 million bond to renovate the aging school building.
“The school was built in 1978 and we’re still dealing with that technology here in 2012,” said board chair Jennifer Daigle. “As a school board, it’s our responsibility to address any concerns and safety issues of our school and bring it to community members’ attention and hopefully get their feedback and support on correcting those items.”
The school will have code violations if the community doesn’t address them, said Daigle. However, she doesn’t think the building inspector would go as far as to close the building for the violations.
“It’s more likely we’re going to be faced with fines rather than faced with closure,” said principal Chris Young. “Every year we’re issued a deficiency report primarily on the sprinkler system. We spent a lot of money trying to get those deficiencies addressed.”
Last February voters rejected a $2.2 million bond. During the spring and summer, school board members worked at reducing the cost. The difference is over $800,000.
School board members eliminated a new library from the initial project, work to the back of the building and the additions. Now work includes moving the administration office and moving the student and public entrance and from Silver Ridge Design.
Work also includes installing a drain swale, installing gables on the east and south entrances, bringing the doors to fire code compliance, updating the electrical system, and installing a new sprinkler system. Other work includes insulating the walls and roof, installing a new heating system to replace one that is aging and inefficient, new doors, and new windows; and putting on new siding.
Glenn Hankinson, director of business for the North Country Supervisory Union, outlined what would happen to the tax rate if residents approved about a $1.4 million bond. He was careful to point out he used the current year’s numbers because he knows what the budget is and what the tax rate is. This year, if voters agreed to a 20-year $1.4 million bond, the overall tax rate would increase just over five cents. The overall rate for 15 years would have been just over a six cent increase, and for 10 years the rate would have been just over eight cents.
The actual interest rate will be determined when and if voters decide to take bond. Hankinson said the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank projected the future combined interest rate yield for a 10-year bond to be 2.41 percent. The interest rate for 20 years is projected to be about 3.21 percent. The prevailing interest will determine the rate next July.
“You don’t get to set the rate up front,” Hankinson said.
The less than half dozen or so residents who attended the meeting seemed displeased that they were not aware of the meeting until an article came out in the newspaper. Daigle said the board posted the meeting notices in the three required places and that children took home notices. Resident Betty Mason insisted the board’s communication skills need improvement.
“If you want to get things passed, people need to be informed about what’s going on,” said Mason. “The school board should have known there are people without kids and don’t come to school.”
A couple of community members requested the informational meeting, said principal Chris Young. The law requires the board hold another meeting 10 days before the bond vote.
Everybody needs to have the opportunity to give input, Mason said.
Jerome Rondeau, who agreed with Mason, said the board needs to make an effort to tell people what’s going on. He said the majority of the people at the meeting either were school personnel or involved with the project.
“This is a big project,” said Rondeau. “It’s not going to be easy to make people understand this thing by just two couples at this board meeting.”