School board begins preliminary planning for bond issue items |

School board begins preliminary planning for bond issue items

Bridget Manley

— The wheels of progress began turning at the monthly Moffat County School Board meeting Tuesday night.

Board members moved to approve a lighting replacement contract, reviewed bond information and discussed transition plans for students during the construction of a new Craig Middle School.

Craig voters approved a $29.5 million bond issue for the school district in November. The bond issue will pay for a new middle school, renovations to all district campuses as well as district-wide lighting upgrades.

The board approved a contract employing Excel Energy Group to replace outdated lighting fixtures in school buildings throughout the district. The project will take place at night to avoid interfering with daytime classroom operations.

The district tried to “find a contractor to do some work during the school year so we’re not all balled up during the summertime,” Facilities Manager Mike Taylor said.

The project will cost $393,573 and would save the district a total of $65,324 in energy costs and maintenance annually, Taylor said. Disposal costs for old lighting fixtures is included in the project’s price tag.

The project will begin in December and is scheduled to end in February 2008.

The board also voted to begin preliminary work in securing the money provided by the bond issue.

Dan O’Connell, Municipal Markets Director for RBC Capital Markets, presented to the board a summary of the bond issue. During the School Board’s next meeting, he will present the board with prices offered for the bonds. The sale of the bonds will fund the facilities projects, O’Connell said.

This summer, RBC Capital Markets conducted a survey among Moffat County voters, which indicated that a majority of voters were not in favor of the bond issue.

O’Connell said he was surprised to see the bond issue pass, given the early indicator of voter opinion of the issue.

“It says a lot about the district and the community,” he said after commending the district for its campaign.

The board also discussed plans for housing students displaced by the construction of the new middle school.

Superintendent Pete Bergmann offered several relocation options, one of which included placing next year’s eighth graders in the high school.

“I’m adamantly opposed at putting eighth grade at the high school,” board member Sandie Johns said. “Its not a good mix.”

Other options included stationing modular classrooms around existing school buildings.

The board will make a decision on the issue at next month’s board meeting.

The board also took time to give credit to community members who helped in the district’s campaign. Members of Citizens for Moffat County Schools and other individuals received recognition from the board in the form of plaques and gift baskets.

Securing key individuals for the campaign was key to the bond issue’s success, Bergmann said. “We had the right people on the bus to get the people in the community to get this passed,” he said.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207 or

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