Town Council to review bond order requests from School Board

The Town Council will hold a workshop on Monday, April 4, 2022 to review two separate bond orders which the Cape Elizabeth School Board will be seeking approval from the council at the next Town Council meeting on April 11.  The two bond orders are for a School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF) and a Schematic Design for the construction of a new elementary/middle school building.

The School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRFF) Bond Order in the amount of $1,161,082 comes as the result of a second grant awarded to the school department through the State of Maine Department of Education [Article].  If approved by the council, 30% ($348,325) of the total borrowed will be forgiven by the State of Maine.  The Cape Elizabeth School Department is allowed to pay the remaining 70% ($812,757) over 10 years at a zero interest rate. 

On behalf of the School Board, Business Manager Marcia Weeks applied for the SRRF grant in the fall of 2021 for facility improvements that qualified as “Priority 1” according to the rules of the grant.  Priority 1 projects are those which: Focus on the health, safety, and compliance issues including roof structural upgrades; improvements to indoor air quality, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; hazardous material abatement or removal; and other health, safety, and compliance issues.  The ten specific projects for all three of the Cape Elizabeth school buildings were approved by the Department of Education.  Importantly, of the projects approved for the elementary and middle school, all are considered relocatable, and can be moved to new buildings.  Financing that exceeds $1 million requires Town Council approval.

The ten projects which received grant funding include: 

  • Video Management System for Security at the elementary school
  • Video Management System for Security at the middle school
  • Video Management System for Security at the high school
  • Life Safety Signage at the elementary school
  • Life Safety Signage at the middle school
  • Life Safety Signage and Wall Extensions at the high school
  • Gymnasium Humidity Control at the high school
  • ADA Compliance Access to Entry Door (1) at the high school
  • ADA Compliance Access to Entry Door (2) at the high school
  • Electrical Panel Replacement at the high school

The second bond order in the amount of $650,000 will fund the development of a full schematic design for the new construction of Pond Cove Elementary / Cape Elizabeth Middle School.  The schematic design, to be executed by Colby Co. Engineering and Scott Simons Architects, will provide detailed renderings and designs, a traffic study,  and enable the School Board to calculate a  more accurate price range for the project.  Should the council approve the bond order, the Town will be able to issue a short-term financing of the project pending a referendum vote in November 2022.  

The Town Council approved an earlier bond order in the amount of $300,000 last April 12, 2021 for a Concept Design Report.  Colby Co. and Scott Simons Architects were selected through an RFQ to undertake the report.  The Final Concept Design Report was delivered on February 24, 2022 and reflects the basis on which the School Board’s Building Oversight Committee determined the timing and direction for a referendum to build one building for the elementary and middle school, and renovations at the high school.  The referendum on the new buildings and renovations is currently slated for the November 8 elections this year.

More information on the school building project is available on the school department’s School Building Project webpage, as well as a new Building Project website.

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