Residents in the six towns that send students to Lamoille Union High School will vote next week whether to approve spending $2.2 million to overhaul the school’s gym, which is a half-century old.
The bond vote is Tuesday, Sept. 3 and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Belvidere, Cambridge, Eden, Hyde Park, Johnson and Waterville.
If approved, the 20-year bonds would provide $2,233,000 to finance work on the gym, the cafeteria serving line and auditorium stage floor. Repairs to — and replacement and re-insulation of — the roof that covers that whole section of the school would make up half the cost of the project.
At an informational meeting Monday evening, Lamoille North Supervisory Union finance director Deb Clark said taxpayers would see an extra $8.60 a year on the tax bill for a $100,000 home. Over the 20-year payback span that would equal about $175 in property taxes to pay for what “will probably be the best gym in the county.”
If approved, the entire Lamoille North Supervisory Union will be carrying nearly $21 million in debt. Some of those bonds are set to be paid back within the next couple of years, while others — including the $9.8 million bond to rebuild much of Hyde Park Elementary School, will be on the books for decades.
Clark said it’s actually a good time to go for a bond, because “interest rates are at historical lows.” She said, and district facilities manager Dylan Laflam agreed, that there aren’t any foreseeable projects “in the bond-sized range” for the next five years or so.
As part of the project, 35,550 square feet of roof will be repaired and/or replaced and re-insulated.
The roof work makes up about half of the total project costs — $1.1 million for repair, insulation, HVAC upgrades and structural changes. Since the same roof covers the gym and parts of the auditorium and cafeteria, the project was extended to include parts of those latter two spaces, as well.
In the auditorium, the project involves replacing the stage floor.
In the gym, a lot of small things add up to a big project. Here’s the list of to-do items in the gym:
• Replace floor
• Bleacher upgrade
• HVAC upgrade
• Replace lighting
• Upgrade egress doors
• Reconfigure storage areas
• Replace scoreboards
• Replace backboards
• Replace divider curtain
• Add acoustical paneling
• Replace trophy cabinets
• Replace matting
• Refurbish/replace banners rail
• Replace drinking fountains
• Apply a new coat of paint
Work in the cafeteria includes replacing lights, repairing the ceiling and remodeling of the service line to improve student flow through the lunch rush.
With the new design Laflam said the cafeteria will be able to serve 400 students in 10 minutes.
The school district has an entire page dedicated to the bond, including a video walkthrough of the affected areas, at bit.ly/luhsbond2020.