ISD 181 Viewpoint: Blueprint 181 Update

ISD 181 Viewpoint: Blueprint 181 Update
Posted on 08/12/2018
This is the image for the news article titled ISD 181 Viewpoint: Blueprint 181 UpdateThe referendum passed, now it's time to build—right?

Not quite. Since the community approved the Blueprint 181 plan in April, we have been mobilizing to implement the plans for each building. There is a lot to do before construction begins next spring. To start tackling this historic project, teams have been established in the areas of standards and design.

Standards Committee: Planning For Equity

The Standards Committee was convened to ensure equity across all the building designs and construction projects. This group is tasked with researching and setting the district-wide standards for items such as: secure entrances; visitor and volunteer check-in procedures; placement and design of lockers; classroom size and finishes; and branding at all schools.

Core Design Teams

Core Design Teams, the groups that are designing the construction projects at the five schools that will be addressed first, have been hard at work all summer. The first phase of construction will include: Forestview Middle, Brainerd High, Harrison and Nisswa Elementaries, and the new elementary school in Baxter.

Each Core Design Team is composed of staff who actually work in the school. The building principal is leading a diverse team that includes teachers and staff who represent the school community. The work of the Core Design Teams began in mid-June. One of the first tasks for the elementary school teams was to tour newly built and remodelled elementary schools. The teams will continue to meet throughout the summer and into the school year.

Bond Sales

In April, the Board of Education authorized the sale of voter-approved bonds. Ehlers, our investment advisors, offered the bonds for sale in late May. The sale went even better than expected!

According to a report Ehlers prepared for the Board of Education, there were six bidders. The lowest bid was Bank of America Merrill Lynch from New York. The 3.61 percent interest cost of that bid was lower than the estimates used pre-sale and pre-election. Total principal and interest over the life of the bond issue will be approximately $3.4 million less than the earlier estimates, while an additional $3.4 million is available to finance project costs.

Moving Forward

As we move forward, the district will provide regular updates on design and construction on our website, in social media and through other district communications. You can sign up for our monthly newsletter updates at
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