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MOLINE – Moline-Coal Valley School Board members Monday night voted to approve the final step in the bond sales process to secure the $14 million required to construct the Moline High School physical education facility.

Board members approved a resolution of intent to issue funding bonds after hearing a report from Kevin McCanna of Speer Financial. McCanna said there were four bidders who participated in the “eBay-like” online sale for the general obligation funding school bonds. The winning bidder was Hutchinson Shockey Erley, of Chicago, who offered a rate of 1.89 percent.

Chief financial officer Dave McDermott said the total cost for bonding out is $14.4 million, which includes the finance costs.

McCanna said the district’s strong financial rating from Moody’s Investor Service helped position the district well for the sale. He applauded the district for its strong reserves and the district’s past practice of rapid debt repayment. According to the Moody’s report, the district’s credit challenges were listed as exposure to underfunded statewide teachers pension plan and below average resident income levels. McCanna said both of these items are out of the district’s control.

All board members voted to approve the resolution of intent to issue funding bonds, with the exception of absent board member Maria Trigueros.

Previously, the board tapped Shive-Hattery to serve as architect and Russell as construction manager. Administrators hope to have students using the new facility by December 2020.

Also Monday, board members discussed the success of the Sept. 5 community conversation night. Board president Sangeetha Rayapati and board member Kate Schaefer said they were thrilled by the numbers that attended the event and the ranges of backgrounds that were represented.

“It was really very diverse,” Schaefer said. “There were former staff, current parents, neighborhood people who probably hadn’t had kids in school in 40 years.”

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The next community conversation meeting is slated for 6-7 p.m. Oct. 1, at the Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley, Moline Teen Center, 1122 5th Ave., Moline. Additional dates include March 3 and April 7.

In other business, board members:

– Met in closed session for about 45 minutes before returning to vote to deny the grievance dated July 23, 2019. Board member Andrew Waeyaert abstained from the vote.

– Accepted the gift of $142,401.66 from the Robert E. Bartlett Family Foundation for the purchase of an orchestra shell for the Bartlett Performing Arts Center.

– Approved the purchase of touchscreen Chromebooks for kindergarten and first grade students at a cost of $98,100.

– Heard a report on the number of students served at various locations for the district’s summer learning program. Elementary students were served at Two Rivers YMCA Spring Brook, Skip-a-Long, Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army. Middle school students were served at both Wilson and John Deere.

– Heard a positive report on the impact of instructional coaches within the district.

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