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High school bond being paid off, new facilities bond needed

January 12, 2022

As the bond that built the new Bonners Ferry High School is paid off, on March 8, Boundary County School District 101 will ask voters for a new $16.4-million facilities bond to fund a new Valley View Elementary as well as make improvements at all other district schools. Here are details of the proposal.

By Chris Pease, Facilities Committee Spokesman, and Jan Bayer, Superintendent

In January 2020, Boundary County School District #101 formed a Facilities Committee to collaborate on a 10-year facilities plan. We, as a district, are thankful for the diverse community members willing to serve on the committee: Merle Ansley, Gary Aitken, Jr., Cal Bateman, Kristie Campbell, Mark Carey, Ryan Comer, Clark Fairchild, Wesley Hubbard, Chris Pease, Bob Overman, Teresa Rae, Tony Rohrwasser, Ron Smith, and Anne Tompkins.

No decisions or recommendations were made without careful consideration and the impact on our community.

The four goals identified by the district for the facilities committee included the following:
  1) Build public relations by seeking community input on where we go with our facilities;
  2) Provide the best facilities for our students within our fiscal capacity;
  3) Make recommendations to the School Board for our facilities; and
  4) Support, in the larger community as a whole, the recommendations made to the School Board.

Here is a timeline of activities completed by the committee and the school district:
  • January 2020 – Facilities committee formed. We examined funds and expenses that included 2009- Present Forest Funds, 2002-2019 State Funding, Facility Expenses since 2015, and Utility Summaries since 2014;
  • February – March 2020 – Toured all schools in the district. On the surface, our buildings look well, but upon inspection, the facilities told another story.
  • April – September 2020 – Reviewed all options based on current tax base, tax rates, and facilities’ needs. We also reviewed the 2001 Facilities Assessment conducted by G.D. Longwell, 2007 Building Code Evaluation, 2019 - 2020 Facilities Study by Longwell Trapp, facility committee annual reviews (2015 - Present), Current Data - funding, enrollment, staffing, building requests, and Bonding Options.
  • September 14, 2020 – Facilities Committee recommends a 10-year facilities plan that includes running an $18 million dollar bond.
  • October 2020 – Present – Facilities maintenance completed based on 10-year facilities plan. Meetings continued to best use Federal funds and protect the health and safety of our students and staff, while being cognizant of the local tax payer.
  • March 2022 – Bond Election

After the building tours, the committee identified several needs that cannot be met solely by the maintenance budget. We all agreed to not throw good money into facilities that need too many repairs or updates to warrant the expenditures. In the end, the committee feels they have designed and proposed a positive balance between the maintenance budget and a bond proposal.

The committee recommended to the Board of Trustees to run an $18 million dollar bond. Since the original recommendation, COVID-19 occurred and the district received ESSR (Federal funds). The district and the facilities committee believed strongly to use some of the Federal funds to complete major projects to improve the safety and health of our buildings, while reducing the local tax burden. Therefore several projects have been moved to ESSR Funds:
  • Four room addition at Naples Elementary School to remove old modules;
  • Air conditioning unit and Boilers at Bonners Ferry High School;
  • Partial plumbing project and fire control panels at Mount Hall Elementary;
  • HVAC improvements at Boundary County Middle School.

The exciting news is the bond resolution approved by the facilities committee and district was reduced from $18 million to $16.4 million. At the same time, the bond for Bonners Ferry High School is paid off.

On March 8, 2022, the Boundary County School District #101 Bond will be on the ballot. The bond will fund the following:
  • Build a new Valley View Elementary School;
  • Shop addition at BFHS, shop renovation at BCMS, and bleachers/athletic improvements for both;
  • Traffic flow updates and paving at Naples Elementary;
  • New roof and completion of plumbing project at Mount Hall Elementary; and
  • Repairing, renovating, remodeling of all buildings based on recommendation of committee and as needed.

Each school benefits from the bond passing. Our community benefits, too, because the new building and improvements will enable our district to host large extra/co-curricular activities and/or tournaments that will bring in revenue.

It is important to all of us to let you all know we are doing our best to maximize the use of our Federal funds and work cooperatively with other governmental agencies to reduce the tax burden locally. As stated above, we are using $1.6 million in Federal funds to reduce the recommended bond from $18 million to $16.4 million.

We have also worked with the county to submit an application to make the pedestrian and paving improvements at Naples Elementary. We will continue to work diligently to be responsible stewards of precious tax dollars.

The committee worked diligently to suggest a bond and maintenance list to maximize the use of our funds, be fiscally responsible to our community, maintain our facilities, and create safe and healthy learning environments for our students and staff. The committee is eager to continue their work by supporting the recommendations.

We are excited for the March election. We are more than happy to present information to your community group, small group meetings in homes and in large groups. Please call Jan Bayer, superintendent, at (208) 267-3146 or email her at jan.bayer@mail.bcsd101.com if you have any questions, want to schedule a meeting, and/or want to tour our facilities.

We are excited to see the improvements in our Boundary County School District #101 facilities!

Below is a summary of current projects and where we are on our 10-year plan, if Maintenance and Operation Levy funds, Forest Funds and State Operational Funds continue:

  • Mount Hall Elementary – Sprinklers – Cannot complete because of water capacity. Water Heater Replaced – Completed 2021
  • Naples Elementary – Remove one portable, remove walkway, and finish office – Completed 2021
  • Valley View Elementary – Remove water in the basement – On-going process
  • Boundary County Middle School - Evaluate, replace, or add sprinklers – Completed 2021
  • Bonners Ferry High School – Secure entryway – Completed 2021
  • Complete softball concessions and bathroom -In-progress, some items back ordered. Evaluate, replace, or add sprinklers – Completed 2021
  • District-wide – Begin conversion to LED lighting, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage – Continued progress in 2021 and fulfilled recommendation.

  • Mount Hall Elementary – Replace exterior doors – Ordered using Federal funds
  • Naples Elementary - Replace exterior doors in main building – Ordered using Federal Funds
  • Bonners Ferry High School – New auditorium and gym roof, address drainage behind auditorium
  • District-wide –  Continue to convert to LED lighting as needed, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage, and address asphalt issues (complete Mount Hall)

  • Mount Hall Elementary – Heating upgrade
  • Naples Elementary – New roof on main building
  • Boundary County Middle School – Address any drainage issues identified
  • Bonners Ferry High School – Install new projector in auditorium
  • District-wide –  Complete LED conversion at Mount Hall and Naples, continue to convert to LED lighting as needed in other buildings, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage (complete BCMS), and address asphalt issues

  • Boundary County Middle School – Expand automotive shop – Moved to Bond
  • District-wide –  Continue to convert to LED lighting as needed, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage, and address asphalt issues (complete BCMS)
Begin examining if buildings need repainted (Mount Hall, Naples, or Boundary County Middle School)

  • Naples Elementary - Remove any remaining portables
  • Bonners Ferry High School – Add additional storage for the auditorium and enclose walkway between school and shop area
  • District-wide – Complete BCMS LED conversion, continue to convert LED lighting at BFHS, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage (complete Naples), address asphalt issues, and repaint a building if needed (BCMS)

  • Bonners Ferry High School – Save maintenance funds for two years for shop expansion and replace Boiler #1 – Moved to Bond and Federal Funds
  • District-wide –  Continue to convert to LED lighting as needed, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage, address asphalt issues (complete Naples), and repaint a building if needed (Naples)

  • Mount Hall Elementary – Repair bathrooms (moved to Federal funds), ADA compliance issues, and electrical panel if needed
  • Naples Elementary – Address ADA compliance issues
  • Bonners Ferry High School – Replace boiler #2 and complete shop expansion – Moved to Bond and Federal funds
  • District-wide –  Complete BFHS LED conversion, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage (complete Mount Hall), and address asphalt issues

  • Mount Hall Elementary – Replace roof – Moved to Bond
  • District-wide –  Continue maintenance on lighting and drainage, replace HVAC units as needed, and address asphalt issues

  • District-wide –  Continue maintenance on lighting and drainage, replace any heating and/or HVAC units needed, address any remaining asphalt issues (complete BFHS), and repaint a building (Mount Hall)

Bonners Ferry High School – Replace roof
District-wide –  Continue maintenance on lighting and drainage, replace HVAC units as needed, and address asphalt issues

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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