UPDATED: Resolution seeking competitive bids for bonds OK’d by Lindbergh board

Bond proceeds will be used to construct new elementary

By Mike Anthony

A resolution seeking competitive bids for the sale of roughly $34 million in general-obligation bonds was approved last week by the Lindbergh Board of Education.

Board members voted unanimously Aug. 11 to adopt the resolution. Bids will be accepted until 10 a.m. Sept. 9, and the Board of Education is scheduled to consider approval of the bond sale when it meets that night.

A resolution seeking competitive bids for the sale of roughly $34 million in general-obligation bonds was scheduled to be considered earlier this week by the Lindbergh Board of Education.

The school board was set to meet Monday night — after the Call went to press.

As proposed, bids will be accepted until 10 a.m. Sept. 9, and the Board of Education is scheduled to consider approval of the bond sale when it meets that night.

Voters authorized the issuance of $34,035,000 worth of bonds when they approved Proposition G — for Growth — in April. The bond issue will increase the district’s debt-service tax rate by 21 cents, to 68.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation from 47.3 cents.

A total of $23.9 million of the bond proceeds will fund the construction of a 650-student elementary school on the nearly 10-acre Dressel School site at 10255 Musick Road.

As proposed, the new elementary school will open in August 2017. In the meantime, the district continues to face aggressive enrollment growth.

From 2007-2008 to 2012-2013, the district’s residential enrollment increased by 569 students. Lindbergh’s official enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year was 6,115 students, which exceeded the district’s projections by 50 students.

Four of the district’s existing elementary schools already exceed capacity, and officials project the district’s enrollment will increase by 242 students for the 2014-2015 school year. Over the next four years, the district’s residential enrollment is projected to increase by 952 students.

In June, the board awarded a $75,700 contract to Hof Construction for renovation work to create more classroom space at Sappington Elementary School.

The district received five bids for the work, ranging from Hof Construction’s low bid to John Kalicak Construction Inc.’s high bid of $96,026.

Sappington Elementary had two large kindergarten classrooms on the main floor, which have been converted into three kindergarten rooms.

The enrollment growth is impacting all of the district’s schools, but particularly the elementary buildings. For example, part of the Long Elementary School library is being converted into a “pull-out” classroom for seven or eight students.

Besides the construction of a new elementary school, $3 million of the bond issue proceeds will fund some critical needs at Lindbergh High School, including doubling the size of the cafeteria, creating two science classrooms from existing classrooms, converting a record-storage room into two new classrooms, modernizing the library and replacing the wood floor and bleachers in Gymnasium 3.

The building projects will have $3 million in contingency.

In addition, proceeds from the bond issue will be used to retire roughly $3.5 million of debt incurred when the district purchased the Dressel site for $1.94 million in July 2011 and property adjacent to Long Elementary School in December 2012.

To fund the purchases, the Board of Education approved the issuance of certificates of participation, or COPs, totaling nearly $3.5 million.

The COPs will be retired, with the remaining debt rolled into the bond issue and paid by the debt-service fund.

The school district now spends roughly $300,000 per year in operational revenue for that debt.

In a separate matter Monday, the board was scheduled to consider awarding a contract to Tri-Co. Inc. to construct a play field at Sappington Elementary School at a cost not to exceed $269,300.

Tri-Co submitted the lowest of six bids for the field, which is being built on 1.9 acres the district consolidated into a single lot by purchasing four adjacent homes.

As proposed, work would begin Aug. 18 and could be completed by Oct. 3.