By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

School district looks at refinancing bonds

The school board approved the project Monday night. It should be completed by mid-February.

The amount of savings the district ends up reaping will depend on market rates at the time.

Finance Director Susan Escure said it will cost the district about $22,000 to refinance $41.1 million in outstanding bonds.

The district has already paid off the remainder of its debt, which originally ran about $63 million. The money financed Sue Buel Elementary School, new classrooms at McMinnville High and Wascher and Newby elementaries and other improvements around the district.

The district’s bonded indebtedness is accounted for outside the annual operating budget, Escure noted.

In other business Monday night:

* Escure said enrollment, which often drops over Christmas break, was down 50 students in January.

She said Mac High lost 37 students, trimming its enrollment to 1,914. She said Wascher lost 11, Buel nine, Newby four and Columbus three, partially offset by small gains at Grandhaven, Memorial, Patton and Duniway.

Enrollment now stands at 6,411, down from 6,461.

* The board approved a trip high school horticulture students plan to make for a competition in neighboring Washington.

* Columbus Elementary representatives told the board they hope to take their fifth-graders on a three-day outdoor school outing on the Oregon Coast in May. The program focuses on science and environmental studies, teaches teamwork and builds relationships, teachers and students who’ve been to outdoor school said.

* Facilities manager Vicki Williams said members of the maintenance were busy over winter break replacing carpets, relocating a leaking water heater at Mac High and testing sprinklers and fire alarm systems. Williams and the superintendent also looked at potential projects that need attention, including stadium columns, the high school roof, the siding at Newby and the chiller at Grandhaven.

* In honor of School Board Recognition Month, educational organizations and school principals honored board members for their hard work and dedicated volunteer service.

The Oregon School Employees Association, representing the classified staff, made $200 donations to YCAP and Juliette’s House in honor of the board. The McMinnville Education Association, representing licensed staff, donated $250 to Juliette’s House.

Principals also honored individual board members who are assigned to their schools this year.

Mac High Principal Kris Olsen presented Stan Primozich with some Grizzly gear and announced that several college readiness resources will be placed in the library in his name.

Cathy Carnahan told Scott Schieber that Duniway Middle School was donating $50 to the Community Compassion Fund in his name. DMS also is adding four books to its library in his honor.

Schieber also was honored by Dave Carlson of Newby Elementary, who said “Abe Lincoln’s Dream” and other books will be placed in the grade school library.

Marty Palacios of Patton Middle School presented several books to Scott Gibson, so he could sign the bookplates for the PMS library.

Brian Crain, representing both Wascher and Sue Buel schools, honored Kathy Cabe with books for both schools libraries.

Margie Johnson of Grandhaven said several books will be put into the school library in honor of Larry Vollmer. Books include “Heroes Come in All Sizes” and “One Cool Friend.”

Deborah Weiner said the Memorial library was adding several books about creativity and problem-solving in honor of Tim Roberts.

Kathi Fowler of Columbus thanked Janis Braich not only for her board service, but also for helping whenever she visits the school. Since Braich is a nurse, Columbus is adding a trio of medically themed books in her honor: “Franklin Goes to the Hospital,” “Maisie Goes to the Hospital” and “Curious George Goes to the Hospital.”



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