WENDELL • It took two years and four failed bond attempts, but the Wendell School District will finally have money to fix facility problems.
Voters gave a thumbs up Tuesday to a two-year, $600,000 annual supplemental levy. The measure is an increase of $445,000 per year over the current levy.
Each year, $155,000 will continue to go toward basic school operating expenses. The rest will go toward facility projects, which have been put off for years without the funding to address those needs.
Now, “within a matter of two years, we’ll have these essential projects done,” Superintendent Greg Lowe said Wednesday.
School board chairman Doyle Hope wasn’t available to comment.
It will cost about $460,000 to replace the 40-year-old Wendell High School gymnasium roof, which leaks and has damaged the inside of the building.
The levy will cover $445,000, while the school district will pay about $15,000.
There’s a pre-construction meeting slated for Monday.
“The roofing company is coming down just to go over the schedule,” Lowe said.
Work will begin once school ends next week and is slated for completion in July.
Garland Co. is doing the roofing work and will allow the school district to pay once levy money comes in, Lowe said.
The rest of the gym is structurally sound, he said, and with a new roof, the building will be in good shape for years to come.
High school sports teams and community groups use the gym.
During the second year of the levy, money will be used to replace the damaged protective coating on Wendell High’s metal roof.
The estimated cost of repairs is $300,000. Levy money will also pay for HVAC system upgrades at the high school and high school gym.
Wendell voters rejected bonds to pay for facility projects four times since March 2014. The majority said “yes” each time, but it wasn’t enough to clear the required two-thirds supermajority.
School trustees communicated with community members and sought input about options, Lowe said.
Instead of trying again with a bond, trustees decided to pursue a larger levy to “get some major projects done in a short period of time,” he said.
It meant identifying the top priorities and leaving out some projects, such as repairing the pothole-ridden high school parking lot.