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December 16, 2017
El Dorado News Times
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Junction City School Board signs off on bond sale

Move will finance high school elective building project

By Brittany Williams
This article was published November 16, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

JUNCTION CITY — The Junction City School Board approved a motion to close the sale of a $1.3 million construction bond to finance the district’s high school elective building project at its meeting Tuesday night.

The bond went up for sale late last month and the winning bid was from Ross, Sinclaire & Associates. The sale is set to close Nov. 30, said Ray Beardsley, vice president of First Security Beardsley.

“You have 36 months from that date to spend the proceeds so Nov. 30, 2020, is your last day (when) all monies needs to have been spent and the project finished … The balance and the number you want to circle on the board is $1,250,800. That’s the amount of money plus any interest earned that must be spent within 36 months,” Beardsley said.

The high school elective building is the priority for the funds, he said. If the project is completed before using all of the money, The Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation allows the district to use remaining funds for other facilities projects.

The district can “defease,” or void the bonds, if the board decides not to go through with the project at Junction City High School, Beardsley said.

District Superintendent Robby Lowe gave the board a tentative timeline for the project that kicks off with a “pre-bid meeting” after Thanksgiving break, where contractors can visit “the old gym.”

“We’ll open bids that Thursday in here at 2 (p.m.) on the demo of the building,” Lowe said. “This Friday, Michael (Rogers) is supposed to have his construction documents submitted to the (Division) of Facilities and Transportation. There is some turnaround, somewhere between a two- to four-week turnaround on the construction documents and getting them back. Once they get them back, then he can put his bid packages out.”

“If everything rolls the way it should,” the district will open bids for construction in late January and hopefully start construction in mid to late February, the superintendent said.

“They’re looking at five to six months to build it. I think five or six months on the outside. It’s a fairly easy building to build. It’s a rectangle,” Lowe said.” It’s going more for functionality, which is hopefully going to keep our costs down.”

He said community members have inquired about preserving parts of the beloved “old gym” before it’s demolished. Staff has worked to carefully move backboards, lighting fixtures, trophies dating back to 1919 and an age-old, 16-square foot dragon out of the building.

“We are doing our very best to preserve our history,” the superintendent said.

Board members approved a resolution supporting the waiver application of an earlier 2018-2019 start date and the employment of paraprofessionals Cornesha Dunn and Shakari Cook.

The Junction City School Board’s next meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 in the district’s special programs meeting room.

Brittany Williams may be reached at 870-862-6611 or bwilliams@eldoradonews.com. Follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook @BWilliamsEDNT for updates on Union County school news.

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