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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bond sales approved for WV

The West Valley school board unanimously approved the sale of a portion of the bonds Wednesday that will fund $35 million worth of remodeling and new construction in district schools.

West Valley voters approved the bond sale on May 18. The money will pay for a complete overhaul of the high school, new classrooms in the elementary schools and maintenance projects in the middle schools.

Architectural planning work for the high school project will begin immediately. District officials predict reconstruction will be completed by fall 2007.

To keep property owners’ tax increase at the promised rate of 99 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, the district chose to first sell $20.25 million of the bonds on an 18-year schedule. They will likely sell the remainder in December 2005.

Debt and principal payments for the two bond issues will be staggered so tax rates will not increase over time, district officials said.

The district will pay Tuesday’s bond purchasers a net interest rate of 4.76 percent.

“The bond market was really good,” said Jon Gores, a vice president for Seattle Northwest Securities, the company that underwrote the sale. “I’m very pleased with how it went. Today’s market is not really as good.”

The bonds were sold less than a month after voters approved the measure, allowing the district to tap into historically low interest rates.

“This bond issue was on a fast track,” said Mike Ormsby, the district’s bond attorney.

Superintendent Dave Smith said he expects the high school students to remain on site during the remodeling work.

Crews will probably build a new gymnasium first so classes can be held temporarily in the old gym.

The district will likely set up some portable classrooms and look for additional space nearby, Smith said.

“I just think the kids need to go to school here,” he said.

“I don’t want to ship our students out of the district.”

The project will likely include the expansion of the commons and library and construction of music practice rooms, fitness facilities and a dance studio.

Heating, power and telecommunications systems will be replaced and new storage areas created.

In many areas, the building will be torn down to its structural shell and rebuilt.

The school’s yellow brick exterior will be replaced, Smith said.

Work is expected to begin in October 2005.

The bonds will also pay for two to four new classrooms, a new gym and a modernized kitchen at each of the district’s four elementary schools.

Those projects are scheduled to be completed in 2007.

The school board hired Bauer Construction on Wednesday to investigate problems in the main entryway at West Valley City School, the original Dishman Elementary School on Valleyway.

The district will pay Bauer Construction between $5,000 and $10,000 to dig out the front porch, peel back bricks and knock out some interior walls to determine the cause of cracks that are causing the porch to peel back from the building.

“We will have no idea how far the damage goes until we get in there,” said Northwest Architectural Company’s Steve McNutt, who is working with the district on the project.

After the damage is assessed, Bauer Construction will do an estimated $25,000 to $50,000 in repair and reconstruction for the district.

McNutt said he is certain the outfit will do a good job, as the company has “a good track record in these small and kind of messy contracts.”

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