The McPherson USD 418 Board of Education recently took the next steps toward a new bond issue, estimated at $13.250 million.

The McPherson USD 418 Board of Education recently took the next steps toward a new bond issue, estimated at $13.250 million.

The board accepted language in draft documents, leading to a possible bond election in April.

One area of discussion surrounded a statement that would allow the district to allocate funds to other necessary projects if some remained after the completion of construction.

Although the district attempted to match funds as accurately as possible, portions of the project remain unknown. Renovations involving changes to existing buildings could result in unforeseen changes, for example. Inflation costs also could be different than projected.

Board member Donna Viola said she would like to see the statement left in the document because of the unpredictability of costs.

“I want to keep it,” member Donna Viola said of the statement. “I think if anybody’s ever built anything, if you (expect) to come in right on the penny, you’re kidding yourself. It would be fantastic if we could, but we’re dealing with some older buildings. We may have some surprises there. I’m not saying specifically where that money should go. If, by any mere chance there’s money left over, I think we need to do some of that.”

The board also approved the hiring of PBA Architects and Piper Jaffray for services leading to the possible bond issue.

These items will return for final approval during the Jan. 28 board meeting.

The new bond involves construction at four of the six district buildings.

At McPherson High School, a shop area will be added and science classes would be repaired and upgraded. At Lincoln and Roosevelt Elementary schools, additions will be made for classrooms, a cafeteria, a commons area and a kitchen. At Washington Elementary School, an old addition will be demolished and replaced with classrooms, in addition to other projects.

Several roofing projects also would be pursued in the bond issue.

The new bond would result in a lower bond and interest mill levy, dipping from the current amount of 6.497 to 5.5 mills.

It is estimated the projects, which would not be done simultaneously, could take up to three years to complete. The earliest start date would be the summer 2013. In other news:

• Larry and Pat Bruce donated $15,000 to the district.

• McPherson Middle School received a $225 anonymous donation.

• Bullpup Scholars received a $750 anonymous donation.