The check is in the bank, or it will be by mid-March. The sale of the Hancock Public School construction bonds went through on Monday and the district will officially receive the funds around March 15. This, along with the awarding of the first set of construction bids, has kick-started the project.
Patty Heminover of Springsted was present at the Hancock School Board meeting on Monday to give board members the news about the bond sale. She told the board that the bond sale was actively pursued by five bidders and the result was a very favorable rate. In fact, the rate was a bit lower than anticipated so the cost to taxpayers will be somewhat less than predicted at the time of the special election.
The winning bidder was FTN Financial Capital Markets with an interest rate of 2.47 percent. There was very little difference between the bids which demonstrated the interest. The other bidders included Piper Jaffray, Sterne, Agee & Leach, Robert W. Baird & Company and Northland Securities.
Heminover was also pleased that within the FTN Financial Capital company there were several banks requesting a part of the bonds sale through pre-orders. One of these was Community Development Bank in Hancock with an investment of $875,000 in the bond purchase.
“This is a win-win situation for the district and the bank,” commented Heminover. “It is nice to see and encourage a partnership like that.”
The school board then passed a resolution awarding the sale of $5.4 million in general obligation bonds to FTN Financial Capital Markets.
With the finances in place, the board members went on to award a bid for the precast walls, plank, double Ts and other miscellaneous metals for the construction. There were two bids for these products with the bid awarded to Wells Concrete Products Company out of Wells, Minn. for $593,325.
With the approval of this bid, the company can begin making the walls and floors for the building in their factory as soon as this week. This will speed up the construction project as this phase will be complete even before ground is broken on the site.
The board also discussed other bids for the project. They approved a bid from Sally’s Refinishing for the refinishing of the cabinets in the science lab. They also decided to go with Spencer Triangle for replacing the cabinets in the 1960 addition.
The second bid package will go out on Feb. 28 with a few minor things to finalize yet. These bids will be approved at the March 18 meeting. Some things not included in this bid package will be the roof repair, playground equipment move and the cabinets in the 1960 classrooms.
Adam Bjerketvedt, Hancock FFA Advisor and Natasha Mortenson, Morris FFA Advisor were present at the meeting to discuss some concerns with FFA. They started out by explaining how far the Hancock FFA organization has progressed in the last five years and what they have done for the community.
However, there is concern that the FFA students need more Supervised Agricultural Experience programs and classroom/laboratory instruction in order for them to be more successful in the program. They asked the board to consider adding ag instruction to the curriculum offered at the school.
“You have incredible momentum right now with the program,” stated Mortenson. “It would be great for the kids here to have the full experience.”
Mortenson offered to help answer questions or direct the board about the ag classroom studies.
The board members were very understanding of this need and told the two advisors that they would keep it in mind and perhaps discuss it further.
• Each of the school board members were presented with a certificate as part of School Board Recognition week.
• The board accepted with regret and thanks, the resignation of Ashley Christianson as the ECFE parent advisor beginning with the 2013-14 school year.
• After a closed session for the principal and probationary classified staff evaluations, the board members approved the recommendations. They also approved a transition plan for Principal Pahl as he moves into the superintendent position.
• Principal Pahl told the board members that he is working on the master schedule for classes for next year and is pleased that they will be adding two or three new college in school courses. He added that he wants to give staff the credit for working in that direction.
• The board members reviewed a new spring Community Education brochure put together by McKenzie Rohloff. The Hancock School Foundation gave seed money to build up this program with Rohloff doing a great deal of work on the brochure and new spring programs. The brochure was sent out to students last week.