FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon school officials are considering a $2 million loan to repair leaky roofs at multiple school buildings.

The roofs on all six district buildings — five schools and an administration center that also houses the district’s preschool program — need to be fixed, said Superintendent Shane Robbins, and school officials are moving forward with plans to borrow $2 million to pay for the project.

Roof maintenance on some of the district’s buildings has been put off the past few years, and rather than fixing issues one at a time, the district is seeking a loan to make needed repairs all at once, said chief financial officer Brian Tomamichel.

The plan to borrow money was announced recently when the school board looked at a number of renovations the district is considering at the corporation’s middle school. School board members will vote on the proposal at the board’s next meeting Sept. 19, Tomamichel said.

Residents can comment on the proposal at next month’s meeting, but a formal public hearing is not required by state law, Tomamichel said.

The $2 million loan would not impact tax rates in the district, Tomamichel said. The corporation recently refinanced some loans to take advantage of lower interest rates, allowing it to save about $8 million of interest over the next 20 years, Tomamichel said.

The district will use the savings from older loans to take on new debt to fund some needed renovations across the district.

Some roof repairs at the middle school and administration building, the district’s oldest facilities, were made over the summer, but another $1.8 to $2 million is needed to fund the remaining maintenance.

The administration and middle school facilities will get new roofs, while the district’s other facilities, Fortville, Mt. Comfort and McCordsville elementary schools and the high school — require only minor repairs.

The district hopes to pay back the debt in three years, Tomamichel said.

“We’re going to be able to fix the whole problem rather than just address leaks,” he said.

Robbins said as repairs are made and roofs replaced, the district will establish a maintenance plan to avoid having to make district-wide repairs all at once again in the future.

“The problem is we waited so long as a district to address some of our roofing needs that we have leaks pretty much district-wide that we have to address,” he said during a recent school board meeting. “You don’t like to do this all at once; you want to spread it out in a perpetual maintenance plan so you don’t have this big expense.”

Repairs wouldn’t begin until spring, according to Maria Bond, the corporation’s communications director.

Have your say

The Mt. Vernon Community School District board will discuss renovation projects at its meeting next month. District leaders propose to borrow $2 million to pay for  roof repairs at the district’s six buildings.

A public hearing is not required, but residents will be given a chance to comment on the proposal.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at the district’s administration center, 1806 W. State Road 234, Fortville.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.