Bond discussions continue

By Corey Evan


As the Payette School District continues looking at ways to keep facilities up, leaders also continue to consider the possibility of once more asking the public to chip in. The discussion continued at the Board of Trustees’ Jan. 13 meeting.

Several members expressed concerns about projects on the district’s to-do list.

One example of facility needs Superintendent Robin Gilbert reviewed with the board was the quotes received to update the roof at Payette High, with estimated costs:

• A roof repair for $53,500, with a five-year warranty;

• A coating of the roof for $360,000 with a 10-year warranty, which Gilbert notes was previously ruled out by the District’s architects; or

• A single-ply membrane for $324,000 with a 20-year warranty.

Gilbert agreed with board members that roof repairs on the building would be iffy, if in future years the campus is replaced.

Board member Ethan Mittlestadt brought up concerns previously raised at Payette High School, such as whether future campus updates would make work currently being considered redundant.

“My thought was if we’re taking the roof off to replace it, would that be the time to upgrade [the boiler system]? Can we knock out two birds with one stone?” he asked, noting that updating the boiler system at the school later could require tearing up the roof later to accommodate.

Gilbert reiterated the technical limitations of the facility, specifically heating the dome. She noted that HVAC units available today are usually roof-mounted.

“That doesn’t work on the dome,” Gilbert reminded them. “It takes a reconfiguration and drawing of plans in order to use roof-mounted units which you would use, and then place those on the ground and then re-duct for that to work.”

Board member Candita Strong expressed strong feelings about putting money into renovations of the existing Payette High building.

“I’ll be honest, I do not want to put in a single penny into that dome,” Strong said, referring to its heating and upkeep needs.

Board Chairman Adam Rynearson mentioned the difficulty in choosing whether to fix the high school’s problems or pursue a levy to just replace the school.

“Do we consider a levy or a repair? It’s so much money,” which Rynearson is concerned about spending on the aging school.

The Board has planned to meet for a tour of District facilities, to get a better idea of how to best meet facility needs. 

“It’s been a little while,” Rynearson admitted. “We’d like to look at all the facilities and … let our new board member walk the halls, see some classrooms. If we can, maybe not be in a big rush.”

Rynearson suggested spreading the tours out over two days, working with board members’ schedules.

Andy Kirkendall emphasized that with a new board member on board, that person needs to understand what the Board is up against.

“When we’re talking about why [a new school is needed], it’s not because we want something pretty, it’s because there’s obvious issues,” Kirkendall said. 

No further action was taken during the meeting. 

Gilbert noted via email on Jan. 16 that preliminary work and a bond committee would be needed before moving forward with selecting a date to run a bond measure.

Gilbert mentioned in a previous report that the district did not actually build a new campus for Payette High when it moved into its current campus, instead reusing the former middle school starting in 1974.

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