Groundbreaking held for new work in the school district

The California R-I School held a groundbreaking ceremony at noon Tuesday, May 20. The event at the future site of the new football field, just east of the high school, drew all seven school board members - Rhonda Meyer, Craig Ash, Kyle Wirts, Joe Kirby, Jay VanDieren, Paul Bloch and Philip Burger. Also among those present were Superintendent Dwight Sanders and Joe Gianino of ATG Sports, representing the firm which will build the field. Although work will be completed at all three of the facilities at both the West Buchanan Street and Owen Street locations, the new football field was chosen as the location to represent all of the work.

At the regular meeting Wednesday, May 21, the board approved contracts for two of the companies involved with the new construction and remodeling to be done at the school buildings, as well as a contract with Midwest Computech. The service agreement with Midwest Computech was tabled for the next meeting, so some details in the contract are clarified or changed. Under the Consent Agenda, substitutes for the next school year were approved, a transportation agreement for a student who must be transported during the summer was approved, approval was given for paying bills and the April payroll.

The Board approved the sale of the $4 million General Obligation Bond Issue to its municipal underwriter, L.J. Hart and Company, St. Louis. “We appreciate the strong vote of confidence we received from local patrons at the election and want to lock in interest rates that are highly favorable,” said Board President Jay VanDieren.

According to Kelly E. Liermann, Senior Analyst with L.J. Hart & Company, the Central Trust Bank purchased $250,000 for individual investors in the local area, the Hawthorn Bank bought $250,000 and the Community Point Bank acquired $325,000 of the bonds to support the district. The Superintendent of Schools, Dwight Sanders, mentioned he was pleased that efforts were made to accommodate local investors. “It is good that our marketing procedures facilitated this participation by banks and individuals from the surrounding area while still receiving attractive interest rates,” said Sanders.

The bonds are scheduled to mature March 1, 2016, through March 1, 2029, with re-offered yields ranging from 0.50 percent to 3.20 percent with the total interest expense coming in below the original projections. The interest income from the bonds is exempt from federal and state of Missouri income taxes and the bonds were available in $5,000 denominations. These bonds carry a “AA+” rating from Standard & Poor’s Corporation due to the District’s participation in the State of Missouri Direct Deposit Program coordinated through the Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority. Funds are expected to be available to the District by June 4, and will be promptly reinvested by the district to earn additional interest for use in the completion of the projects.

Elementary Principal Daniel Williams reported May enrollment was 597, a decrease of four from the previous month. He reported the first fifth grade graduation went well. Academic performance was recommended in several areas. A field day for elementary students included a movie in the gym, several inflatable bounce houses and a variety of relay races. Summer school was ready to begin.

Middle School Principal Matt Abernathy reported May enrollment at 297. The weather was good for the Lions Club Track Meet. The Middle School Starr Party was May 19.

High School Principal Mike Hight reported May enrollment at 396. There were 21 early graduates. Summer maintenance is being planned with the coaches and teachers arranging around the work to be done for classes and camp schedules.

It was reported that there are 97 kindergartners are enrolled for next year, with more possible.

The next regular monthly meeting will be June 18. A special meeting is set for June 16 to discuss the next year’s budget and the Sunshine Law.

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