Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois Johnson
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Barnum two steps closer to remodeling project


The Barnum School Board took two more steps in the process toward the addition and remodeling project for the high school and elementary school buildings at the meeting of the board on Tuesday, May 20.

The board approved a resolution to submit a document about the project to the Minnesota Department of Education for review and comment, a requirement before a referendum election can be held.

The school board also passed a resolution relating to the issuance of school building bonds and calling for an election to be held in August.

Board member Michael Line asked for a roll call vote on each resolution and was the only person to vote no on each.

The board approved Plan A in February for additions and remodeling of the high school building, as recommended by Architect Kevin Holm of LHB.

Superintendent Dave Bottem listed the details of the plan at the February meeting, with an estimated cost over $16 million. The plan includes a $50,000 two-level building near the sports complex.

An outdated boiler in the elementary school also needs to be replaced, due to the inability to obtain parts. The plans call for replacement of the boiler and connecting all of the four boilers in the elementary school. The new boiler would also be more energy efficient.

Lighting in the high school would also be replaced with energy efficient lighting.

Lists showing the actual amount of the bond sale were distributed and showed a total of $16,280,000. Those costs include sending information to the Department of Education for the required review and comment, the cost of the bond sale and other costs associated with the project.

Due to existing debt, repayment of the new debt, if the referendum passes, will be reduced in the first four years while the old debt is paid off. The debt for the new school would extend out for 20 years.

Tax impact information shows the tax for the project would be $311 on a $150,000 property.

Supt. Bottem reported the Legislature increased the formula amounts that school districts will receive to $25 per pupil. That will result to $25,310 in additional revenue annually for the Barnum School District.

Students who qualify for free and reduced lunches will get free lunches, according to legislative changes. All kindergarten students will be able to eat free breakfasts every day.

School districts have been able to purchase health insurance through the Northern Lights Education Cooperative but will now have to call for three bids for insurance, one of which will be from the cooperative.

“None of us knows how this will work,” he said. “The co-op always did it for us. I’m not sure how this is going to work for the employees. The co-op is going to work with its attorneys.”

In other business, the board approved the purchase of teaching and learning technology: 34 HP desktop computers, $19,142; nine HP ProBooks, $4,986; 16 iMacs, $18,506.38; 19 MacBook Pros, $18,506.38; 90 Chromebooks and a management system, $27,445.70; and three charging carts, $4,7421.05. Total: $93,327.43.

The board also approved the purchase of two new school buses for a total of $135,469.67, and a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan at a cost of $19,685.

The next meeting of the board was set for Tuesday, June 17, at 6:30 p.m.


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