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Park Rapids schools receive stimulus funds for energy improvements

Park Rapids Area High School and Frank White Education Center will undergo indoor air quality, maintenance and energy efficiency projects with the help of federal stimulus money.

"The school really needed these improvements," said Superintendent Glenn Chiodo. "What really put us in the position to be able to do them was the availability of stimulus dollars."

The total cost of the project is estimated at $12,232,417. Stimulus money will cover about $7.6 million, Chiodo said.

"Without that money, there's no way we would have been able to do this," he said.

The school district will issue three series of bonds for the project: general obligation alternative facilities bonds, series 2010A; general obligation alternative facilities bonds, series 2010B (qualified school construction bonds); and general obligation capital facilities bonds, series 2010C (qualified school construction bonds).

Improvements will include a boiler replacement at the high school and roof work, along with energy improvements and deferred maintenance at the high school and Frank White Education Center.

Chiodo said the earliest that work could begin on the projects is next spring.

"The boiler work is the top priority," he said.

The rest of the work would ideally be next summer when school is out, he said.

The school board held a special meeting Tuesday night to approve the intent to sell bonds. The meeting was needed due to special requirements in obtaining the federal stimulus dollars, Chiodo said.

The notice of intent to sell capital facilities bonds must be posted for 30 days before bonds can be authorized.