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Budget, building and bonds

SPRING VALLEY– At the Hall High School Board meeting Wednesday evening, Superintendent Mike Struna presented the tentative Fiscal Year 2014 budget which emphasizes the declining state revenues. 

General state aid is being decreased by $303,102 coupled with a decrease in local property tax revenues, amounts to a total revenue loss of $364,095 for the district. 

The positive news is Struna was proactive in making expense reductions last spring which totaled $217,000. Therefore, the final tentative budget shows revenue of $5,009,105 and total expenses of $4,967,726. The budget will be posted for 30 days, and there is a budget hearing meeting scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Sept. 25.

Plans for the new Hall High School continue to be changed to help lower costs. The design team has met several times recently and is trying to work quickly to lock in a building plan as soon as possible. Some changes to the floor plan were made, but all the proponents the board wants are still included. An alternate to using geothermal heating is being discussed. There is a special meeting planned at 6 p.m. Sept. 4 to approve the final building plan.

The board approved a resolution providing for the issue of general obligation school bonds for $32,000,000 for the purpose of building the new high school. Kevin Willis of First Midstate Bank explained this allows First Midstate to move forward and lock in the rate without having to hold a special meeting.

In other business:

• Struna announced enrollment is increasing. The district has approximately 20 more students registered than last year.

• A Freshman Transition Program was implemented this year; 84 out of 97 freshmen attended the Monday before school started. Students were given their schedules and lockers and had the opportunity to meet their teachers while following their schedules.

• Teachers from Hall, Spring Valley Elementary, Cherry and Dalzell attended professional development at IVCC recently. Teachers were trained in the Danielson Teacher Effectiveness Framework.

• The board granted the Devilettes permission to travel to Florida for a dance competition.

The board meeting scheduled for Sept. 18 has been cancelled and rescheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 25.

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