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Bonds sold for Verndale school addition project

The Verndale School Board held a special meeting June 27 for the purpose of awarding the sale of $4,950,000 of general obligation school building bonds to Baird, a wealth management, capital markets, asset management and private equity firm based in Milwaukee, Wis.

According to Ehlers Financial, Baird submitted a bid of 3.5448 percent. The highest bid was 3.9709 percent.

The District 818 board also passed a resolution to commit $845,000 from the general fund to the capital building project. The low bid for the general obligation capital facilities bonds came from Cronin and Co., Incorporated of Minneapolis. Cronin’s bid was 3.416 percent.

“Everything basically is on track,” Verndale Superintendent Paul Brownlow said. “There is some land surveying to be done but we’ve got the bonds sold.”

Brownlow expects R.A. Morton Construction to break ground for the addition in October or November. The 29,700-square foot addition will house two science classrooms, a 10,565-square foot gymnasium, boys and girls’ locker rooms, administrative offices and storage space. The addition is slated to be occupied during the 2014-2015 school year.

 Portions of the present school building will also be remodeled and upgraded. The cafeteria will be remodeled and enlarged. Special education facilities will be upgraded. The secondary and elementary sections of the school will be completely separated.

 District 818 residents approved the building bond May 30 by a vote of 340-252.

The school had space issues prompted by the growth of the K-12 student body. Verndale had an enrollment of 486 students when the 2012-2013 school year ended.