BATH TOWNSHIP — The Bath school board has approved two possible bond issues for a new elementary school, but is hoping to be able to go with the one that will cost residents a little less.
The board passed the first resolution Tuesday to get on the May 3 ballot. It passed two resolutions, one with the millage needed if the district can secure federal Build America Bonds, which would be a cheaper rate.
“We are just doing it so we have it done if they [Build America Bonds] are still available,” Superintendent Bill Lodermeier said. “We are just trying to do the best we can for our people.”
The district needs to raise $25.1 million to build a new elementary school on 40 acres of land west of the middle school, tennis courts and soccer fields. The district already owns the land.
If the federal bonds are available, the millage is estimated to be 4.99 mills, Treasurer Annette Morman said. If not, it would be 5.24 mills. Both would be for 37 years. The Build America Bonds are part of stimulus money. Districts aren’t sure if the bonds will continue, Morman said.
The board will approve the second required resolution next month, but has until early February to file with the county board of elections.
Bath isn’t yet eligible for state money, but will earn $13 million in credit for a high school/middle school project. The district could decide to renovate the buildings or construct a sixth- through 12th-grade building.
The 106,000-square-foot, two-story elementary building includes $2.9 million in locally funded initiatives, including additional academic space, geothermal heating and cooling, terrazzo flooring in corridors and commons, standing seam metal roof and wood gym floor.
Lodermeier said the extras are things the committee made up of school and community people wanted. Specifically, they are things that will ensure the building’s longevity.
“They don’t want to put a lot of their money into a fancy building,” he said. “They want something that is functional and will be here for a very long time.”
The current building dates back to 1937 and has its problems. It isn’t easily handicapped accessible and does not allow for enough power for today’s technology.
The district has held two community meetings on the project, and Lodermeier said officials were able to answer many questions from residents. The consensus, he said, is that the building is needed.
“The community agrees we need it,” he said. “The question is how much people can afford.”
Morman estimates the owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $175 a year on the 4.99 mills.
Bath going to voters for new school