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FPS Board holds elections, bond program update

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Fremont Public Schools Board of Education members were updated at their Monday meeting about the bond program, renovations at schools, and a date for the issuance of the debt.

Cleveland Reeves and Roger Slosson from BVH Architecture gave the update to the board about what they have been doing with the schools and its staff.

“We have been having staff meetings with the high school, Milliken Park, Washington, Howard and Clarmar staff,” Slosson said. “We are underway with the schematic design on the first round of projects. We have requested a property easement for the geothermal well field at Milliken Park.”

Slosson said the firm would speak to the Fremont City Council this month.

“We have a schematic design cost estimate for Milliken Park and we have issued a CMAR request for proposals for the high school,” Slosson said.

Reeves explained that a CMAR request is an acronym for “Construction Manager At Risk” and is a proposal made out to different construction agencies to consider the project and commit to it under a maximum price. BVH said 15 parties are already interested in the project.

Staff meetings Slosson referred to is an initiative BVH is taking by visiting the schools under the project and not only educating the staff about the project’s designs and additions, but also getting the staff’s feedback from their experience about what the schools need or should remain.

“We value the input that we’ve been getting from the staff, said Brad Dahl, Fremont Public Schools associate superintendent. “Whether from the high school, the CTE or the design and remodels of the elementary schools, we’ve engaged the staff and they have provided valuable input and we are trying to incorporate that.”

BVH also showed the site plan for the CTE section of the high school.

CTE or Career Technical Education is an area within the high school that focuses on technical fields such as diesel, welding and information technologies. This area currently is almost separate for the high school, but plans are to integrate it under the new schematics.

Dahl indicated there are plans to have two issuances of the debt on two separate dates. The first issuance of debt is set for this April. The second issuance is currently set for June 2024.

“One of the concerns that we’ve had when we worked with our citizens committee this last summer is that the bond market is at an all-time low, and we want to take advantage of that,” FPS Superintendent Mark Shepard said. “The majority of the debt will be issued this year and what’s left will be issued later.”

Shepard said the district is focused on two things throughout this.

“Number One is getting the best return from the school district on behalf of the taxpayers,” Shepard said. “The second is being able to demonstrate that we can expend these funds within 36 months of issuing the debt. June of 2024 isn’t that significant. We are not going to stretch these projects into 2026 or 2027.”

The board also authorized the purchasing of a piece of residential real estate at 503 South H. St.

Dahl said the property purchase would assist with the designs for the site plan for Washington Elementary School. The property was appraised and set at $120,000.

Elections took place to determine the positions for officers for the next one year term.

The election positions and names of the board members are as follows:

President Sandi Proskovec

Board Vice President Terry Sorensen

Board Secretary Todd Hansen

Board Treasurer Susan Plank

Board Clerk Lynn Fuchser

“I just want to thank all of our support members. They represent our students and community very well,” Shepard said.

Donations from Donors Choose and Coffee with a Cause also were accepted at the board meeting. Donors Choose donated more than $1,200 in books to the Book club and FHS Media Center while Coffee with a Cause donated more than $1,300 directly to the FHS’s The Hub.

The meeting also included testimonials from staff and clients alike from educational organizations such as PK Programming, Early Intervention Program, Six Pence and the After School Learning Community Program.

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