Aug. 12--The parents booster group for Friend de Coup, Mitchell High School's show choir, has pledged $25,000 to the proposed fine arts center for the school district.
"We're pleased with that," Superintendent Joe Graves told the Mitchell Board of Education during its regular meeting Monday at L.B. Williams Elementary School. Graves said he is still actively seeking other contributions for the proposed $13.5 million fine arts center.
"The booster parents are very excited about the fine arts center and the possibilities it will bring for our group to host events and to perform in that fine arts center," Jacki Roy, co-chair for the booster group, told The Daily Republic following the meeting.
The board took another step moving the project forward Monday, though it still has made no official decision on whether to approve the project. Board members unanimously voted that, if they decide to approve the project, they would use Edward Jones to handle the capital outlay financing. For the estimated $13.5 million in construction costs, Mitchell School District would pay $18.27 million, based on the July interest rates used by the firm.
Business Manager Steve Culhane recommended Edward Jones, which was one of three firms that submitted proposals to finance the potential project. The other firms were Dougherty & Company LLC and D.A. Davidson Company. Based on the interest rates given by Dougherty, the school district would pay $18.5 million, and based on the rates given by D.A. Davidson company, the district would would pay about $18.46 million.
Culhane said he recommended Edward Jones based primarily on the true interest cost of the certificates being sold -- 3.161 percent -- and how much interest would be paid over the life of the issuance. He also praised Edward Jones' option to refinance in seven years, rather than 10, and the firm's proposed partnership with First National Bank for a South Dakota presence when the certificates go on the market. Patrons of the Mitchell School District would have priority over anyone else to purchase those certificates in the first 48 hours that they go on sale.
Brian Coyman, managing director of Edward Jones out of the firm's St. Louis, Mo., office, spoke to the board and answered questions, emphasizing that local investors will be given priority should the project come to fruition.
"We know we have a ready, willing appetite to buy the bonds," he said.
Coyman noted that the board is under no obligation to Edward Jones, and that no costs will be incurred unless the project officially gets under way.
"All you are approving tonight is who you are going to work with to fi nance the fine arts center if you approve it," Culhane said. "It doesn't obligate you in any way."
The proposed fine arts building would seat more than 1,200 people and have room for choir, band and drama programs to practice and store their materials. An optimistic timeline would allow the building to be finished by fall 2016.
The facility would be paid for using capital outlay certificates and an existing capital outlay levy over a 20-year span at a rate of $3 per $1,000 in valuation. The next board meeting will be on Aug. 25 at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary.
As pa rt of the board's consent agenda, members approved changes to the July board meeting's minutes, claims, open enrollment and the following personnel changes:
--New hire (certified): Lindsay Corrin, 0.5 begindergarten at $16,875, effective 2014-15 school year; Whitney Millar, 1.0 second-grade classroom instructor at $36,083, effective 2014-15 school year; Heidi Eitemiller, .6 physical education teacher at $23,345, effective 2014-15; Heidi Eitemiller, .2 para educator at $12.50 per hour times 1.4 hours per day, effective 2014-15 school year.
--Sixth class assignments: Terry Aslesen, two sixth class assignments at $6,195, effective 2014-15 school year; Danielle Erdmann, two sixth class assignments at $3,788, effective 2014-15 school year; Melissa Miller, one sixth class assignment at $2,243, effective 2014-15 school year; Mel Olson, one sixth class assignment at $3,078, effective 2014-15 school year; Becky Anderson, two sixth class assignments at $3,933, effective 2014-15 school year; Lori Schmidt, two sixth class assignments at $6,134, effective 2014-15 school year; and Kristina Starr, two sixth class assignments at $3,763, effective 2014-15 school year.
--New hire (classified): Annette Sewright, para educator at $12.50 per hour, effective 2014-15 school year; Margaret Hiller, NSLP cook at MMS at $11.50 per hour, effective Aug. 15; Joshua Vlasman, food service worker at MMS at $10.05 per hour, effective Aug. 15; Tanya Menard, food service at GBR at $10.05 per hour, effective Aug. 15; Haley Flipse, para educator at LBW at $10 per hour, effective Aug. 1; Julie Pinkerman, para educator at Longfellow at $11.15 per hour, effective Aug. 1; April Rickel, para educator at LBW at $10 per hour, effective Aug. 1; and Molly Weiss, para educator at GBR at $11 per hour, four hours per day, effective 2014-15 school year.
--New hire (extracurricular): Christine Skoglund, head eighth-grade volleyball coach at $2,206, effective 2014-15 year; Keri Munsen, eighth-grade assistant volleyball coach at $1,452, effective 2014-15 school year; Molly Reimer, seventh-grade assistant volleyball coach at $1,452, effective 2014-15 school year; Kelsey VanOverschelde, seventh head volleyball coach at $2,007, effective 2014-15 school year; Alisha Lockhart, volunteer assistant cheer coach, effective 2014-15 school year; Eric Schramm, SkillsUSA adviser at $700, effective 2014-15 school year; and Annika Russell, ninth-grade grade volleyball coach at $2,823, effective 2014-15 school year.
--Resignations: Travis Schubauer, .6 FTE physical education instructor/.4 computer aid, effective immediately; and Leslie Warnke, oral interp adviser, effective immediately.
--New hires MTI: Jill Greenway, academic and financial aid specialist at $13 per hour, effective Aug. 4; and Danita Lucas, ISC and student support specialist at $13 per hour, effective Aug. 11.
In other regularly business on Monday, the board:
--Heard board member reports.
--Took a tour of L.B. Williams to see the building's recently installed carpet and gymnasium fl oor.
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