Federal bond money paves the way for Jacksonville school district projects

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With some plans on hold while the district waits for future enrollment numbers, school officials are embarking on other plans to use funds that are due to be spent by September 2024.

The district has $ 12.4 million in obligations generated from an online sales tax – $ 9.9 million to be spent by 2024 – and $ 10.8 million in federal relief funds d emergency for elementary and secondary schools.

Superintendent Steve Ptacek said that with projects like an expansion to South Elementary School and HVAC to North Elementary School, as well as major renovations for schools that could potentially close in a few years, he and others officials had to find other places to spend the funds.

“We have a substantial amount of money that we have to spend or encumber,” Ptacek said.

Ptacek posted a video about the funds and proposed projects on the district’s YouTube page and on Facebook.

Federal funds have been allocated to municipalities and districts for projects related to the pandemic. The majority of approved projects focus on improving air quality and increasing health and safety.

“We need to spend this money where it will have a major and lasting impact on the district, because these funds will not happen again,” said Ptacek.

The big projects planned are a major renovation of the Washington Elementary School, which will cost around $ 11.5 million. The project will include the addition of a gym, elevator, new entrance and office complex, and a new circular promenade. Construction will begin in the spring and most of the project is expected to be completed by the fall.

Ptacek said a second project will take place at Eisenhower Elementary School and will cost just under $ 5.2 million. The project will include the addition of permanent walls, the creation of separate classrooms,

The money would also be spent on projects at Jacksonville High School: $ 869,100 for an HVAC system for central and western gymnasiums; $ 885,178 for the CVC for professional classes; $ 600,000 for new flooring to replace the 1982 carpet in the classrooms; $ 25,000 for a new marquee; and $ 1.7 million for the auditorium renovation, including new flooring, seats, curtains, stage, lighting and sound system.

Approximately $ 30,000 would be spent on the windows of the early childhood building and $ 130,000 would be spent on emergency repairs at Murrayville-Woodson Elementary School, including masonry, roofing and windows.

Planned projects total more than $ 20.9 million.

The district could keep up to $ 2.48 million in sales tax money. After the expected cost, the Strict will have around $ 1.5 million that they can use for future projects, Ptacek said.

“We are making all of these improvements without any increase in property taxes,” said Ptacek.


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