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St. Martin School Board plans $11.4 million bond sale

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Henri C. Bienvenu

School board members last week put in motion steps that will lead to the sale of $11,675,000 in general obligation bonds to finance a sweeping and ongoing school facilities upgrade.
The sale will be the third installment of a $40,350,000 bond program approved by parish voters in May 2013. The board sold a $5 million issue in September 2013 and another $12 million in March of this year. Current projections call for the sale of the remaining $11,675,000 in authorized bonds in March of 2016.
Bids on the purchase of the bonds will be opened during a special board meeting set for 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, and the board should have the money in hand by mid-March.
In a related matter, the board learned that Acadiané Renovations of Franklin has been awarded a $1,364,000 contract for construction of new classrooms at Breaux Bridge High School.
In other business at last week’s December meeting, board members:
•Approved a request by St. Martinville City Council member Mike Fuselier to place a replica of the United States motto “In God We Trust” in a prominent location in the board meeting room. Fuselier said the St. Martinville council is already planning the erection of a similar display in its meeting room and he is planning to visit area public bodies in the coming weeks to request similar action.
•Agreed to look into the feasiblity of outsourcing its student transportation system, possibly turning over bus operations to a private firm.
Board member Jimmy Blanchard said it is getting more and more difficult to secure substitute bus drivers despite the fact that the board recently upped pay to $65 per day. He suggested hiking the rate to $100 per day, although that would be more than substitute teachers currently earn.
•Met in executive (secret) session for almost three hours to discuss pending litigation, expulsion appeals, student conduct and personnel matters.

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