The school district’s bond project work has been ramping up over the past several weeks, and Superintendent Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault gave school board members an update on the projects Monday evening with the help of STMA’s longtime architect, Bob Rego.
The school board awarded the $35,705,000 bond sale to Baird, out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at their March 20 meeting. Baird was the lowest bidder of nine bids with a 3.27 percent interest rate, which was lower than the pre-sale estimate of 3.32 percent and the pre-election estimate of 3.40 percent. This makes the total borrowing cost $339,000 below pre-election estimates.
With the money now in hand, the district has formed a bond committee that meets twice per month. Seven subcommittees also meet and report back to the core committee, each focusing on one of the major projects: ice arena, all-purpose facility, tennis courts, baseball/softball fields, technology, high school expansion and Albertville Primary expansion.
The district has also hired a bond investment firm as well as a construction management firm, Breitbach Construction Company.
“I’m very happy with them and I think Bob [Rego] is as well,” Foucault said, saying Breitbach has worked on the national hockey rink at St. Cloud State University, the turf on St. John’s campus and Albany school district’s current project, which Foucault said is similar to STMA’s.
Breitbach has order construction signs that will go up wherever a project is taking place so community members and visitors know what is happening in that space.
Additionally, Foucault said they have secured builder’s risk insurance, submitted documents for a traffic study to the city of St. Michael and are working on soil borings for the Albertville ice arena.
Transportation and Technology Director, Wayne Hoistad, said the technology portion of the bond is also progressing smoothly. The three technology projects he is currently working on include infrastructure and switch replacement at Middle School West, the network servers and storage upgrades and new computers at the high school. He said these projects will be ready to start rolling by June 5.
Rego said they are busy on the architectural end, drawing up designs and getting all documents prepared for building code reviews.
Middle School East Pool
The only project that has moved beyond preparation work is the Middle School East pool repairs, which began in April. They have installed taller and wider doors to the pool area, replaced corroded pipes and ductwork with new plastic ones, removed corroded tanks in the filter room, drained the pool and caulked cracks. The pool will be acid washed before refilling. A new mezzanine and surge and filter system have been installed, and other improvements have been made such as cleaning and sealing the stainless steel and installing a new water to water pool heater. Pool repairs will be complete by June.
“You see the pipes and how corroded they are, and you can tell it clearly needed to be done,” Foucault said.
This Summer’s Projects
With the end of the school year only two weeks away, work can begin soon on the new secure entrances at the high school, Middle School East and Albertville Primary. Other projects slated to begin in June include generators at five of the schools and a boiler/air conditioning project at the Community Ed. Center.
Rego said all projects will be completed prior to September of 2018 besides the ice arena expansion, which will go into November of next year.
“I’m very thankful for Bob’s leadership,” Foucault said. “I think I call Bob three or four times a day, and he hasn’t blocked my calls yet,” she joked.
Foucault said all bond projects are progressing on time and under budget, which is how they want to keep them.