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SCC District’s AA credit rating helps save taxpayers $1.2 million

St. Croix Central District Superintendent Tim Widiker reported that the district has received an AA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s. He attributed part of the favorable rating to the district’s fund balance policy.

“That rating speaks to the importance of our fiscal prudence and financial stability in maintaining that fund,” added Director John Hueg.

The rating contributed favorably to the interest rate at which the district borrowed the first $10 million, approved in the November referendum. Initially estimated at 4.25 percent, the district was able to secure the loan at 3.43 percent, which will result in a savings of $1.2 million to taxpayers over the 20-year life of the loan.

Widiker brought board members up to speed regarding building improvements and additions approved in last November’s referendum. The new bus barn and remodel of the existing bus garage are furthest along. According to Widiker, the architect is finishing up final details for the new 230-foot-by-60-foot Butler steel building while work to update the plumbing and ventilation and to add partitions to the old garage are well underway.

“Round three of redesigning the general layout of the bank building is getting close to completion. It might be more of a challenge to be under budget here because of very likely asbestos abatement in the basement,” reported Widiker.

Wold Architects has completed a timeline for the various projects in all of the buildings including the parking lot at the middle school. A meeting took place Wednesday, Jan. 14 to kick off the start of all of the users groups, including those focused on the middle school and auditorium.

“Seventeen or 18 people attended the auditorium meeting. We had three out of the four teachers there as well as other staff and good community representation as well. It was a really good overview of terminology about auditoriums. The site team is working with a national consultant on auditoriums to establish our needs. I thought it was a very strong meeting as far as terminology and what we need to be thinking about. The next meeting is Feb. 19, which will be tour day. We will be looking at an assortment of auditoriums around our area,” said Hueg.

“It’s critical for us to have many groups represented as we did,” said Treasurer Scott DeGross.

Both DeGross and Hueg noted that a successful solution to the design of the new auditorium is a two-way street. The physical design will need to consider all of the various uses from band and theater to lectures and graduation. Teachers will also have to keep in mind the physical attributes of the new auditorium when choosing specific pieces to perform. Creative staging may play a role in some situations.

“I just want to add, there was a lot of good input. It’s going to be a fantastic space that our kids really deserve,” added SCC High School Principal Glenn Webb.

Other business

  •  Following a closed session, Widiker announced the board voted to maintain the teacher retirement benefit at $14,509 annually for six years for qualified teachers retiring at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
  •  The board approved the 2015-16 School Calendar. The first day of school will be Sept.1 and graduation will be held on May 27. They also approved the 2015 Summer School Calendar. Three sessions will run from June 9 - 25, July 6 - 16 and swimming lessons will run from July 20 -30. There will be no classes in August to accommodate construction projects. Afternoon classes will return to the 3:30 p.m. dismissal time.
  •  The board approved Policy 462 establishing eligibility requirements for the Wisconsin Technical Education Excellence Scholarship.
  •  The board approved Policy 423 delineating criteria for Full Time Public School Open Enrollment.
  •  The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will take place Monday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. at the middle school library.