The Vigo County School Corp. plans to use a building corporation and lease/rental process to finance a $10 million renovation of Otter Creek Middle School.

The board meets at 6 p.m. tonight in the West Vigo Elementary Conference Center.

“Going through a building corporation is a widely-used practice for school projects across the state,” said Bill Riley, VCSC director of communications. 

“We go through a building corporation/lease arrangement so that the building corporation can take on the appropriate amount of debt for the project and so that debt does not limit the Vigo County School Corp. from taking on debt through general obligation bonds for future projects.”

The board will act on a resolution approving a form of a lease; a hearing and other board action will take place at a future meeting.

A petition/remonstrance period has ended for the Otter Creek project, with no opposition. The project includes a new gym, a new music room, a renovated cafeteria and more classroom space.  

Once construction begins, it will not be complete until August 2022, Superintendent Rob Haworth said at a recent board work session. Work will continue through the 2021-22 school year. Haworth said the district will work with construction management and the architect to ensure learning is not disrupted during that time.

The district is getting ready to enter the bid process, he said on Feb. 8. It’s anticipated the project will start this summer. 

In a separate agenda item, the board will act on a preliminary bond resolution that calls for the district to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $5,575,000 at an interest rate not to exceed 5%; it’s a preliminary step in the process. Funds would be used for such projects as roofing, paving, chillers and other facility maintenance.

Short term general obligation bonds help fill a gap in revenue created by circuit breaker losses, officials say. 

Other business

In other matters the board will:

• Act on a recommendation to award bids for a network upgrade project. 

• Act on a recommendation to set fees for a new full-day, pre-K program to be housed at the Deming Elementary Early Learning Center. The recommendation is a rate of $21 per day for 180 school days.

• Board action also will be requested on a secondary return to school plan. No details were available Friday. “Monday’s meeting will give the board a chance to publicly discuss and possibly take action on future instructional models at the middle and high school level,” Riley stated.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.

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