Vallivue board approves plans for its $78 million bond

VALLIVUE — Two months after voters passed a $78 million bond issue, Vallivue is deep into making plans for construction of two new elementary schools, a new roof and HVAC renovations at Vallivue High School and East Canyon Elementary, and funding new security measures.

At it’s Aug. 8 board meeting, Vallivue trustees approved the district’s plan to issue the $78 million in September to take advantage of interest rates and to pay this money back over 20 years.

“Getting money now allows us to begin earning interest now,” Piper Sandler managing director Eric Heringer said in a July 11 presentation to Vallivue trustees. “The philosophy is to get it now when we can earn almost 5%, which can generate three to four million in interest to help supplement the bond.”

At the July 11 meeting, board members also approved the Meridian-based Beniton construction company to install the new roof and HVAC systems. Beniton is a long-time Vallivue construction partner.

At the Aug. 8 meeting, board vice-chair Jennifer Cox lauded the Vallivue maintenance crew for making behind the scenes preparations like fireline replacements and constructing HVAC systems at Birch and East Canyon elementary schools.

“We have 13 guys to keep acres and acres of ground to be maintained across the district,” Cox said at the board meeting. “These guys have done so much stuff this summer in addition to grounds work. These are things you don’t see. These aren’t fancy things. These are the things that need to be done that nobody knows. I appreciate that.”

Part of this work is preparation for the two new elementary school sites. In July, the school board unanimously approved Design West to create plans for two new elementary schools on the east and west sides of the district.

August elementary construction updates include an elementary access road declared a private drive, which will allow the district to avoid complex zoning elements required for public roads. Basic survey and groundwork are completed. There is a small section declared a wetland that will have to be resolved before construction begins.

Design West’s goal is to submit plans by November or December so that construction bids can begin to come in by January. Vallivue hopes to open these two new elementary schools by 2025. Board members were careful to note that these large projects take time.

“There are so many logistical hurdles, and so many we don’t even know yet,” trustee Clay Christensen said at the board meeting. “Little tiny blips on the radar that we’ll figure out.”

Because of the collective local interest expressed to the board, the plan going forward is to post a construction timeline on the Vallivue schools website.

Matt Denis

Matt Denis

Reporter Matt Denis is based in the Treasure Valley and has served as an educator and a journalist. Prior to national digital reporting and founding an arts and culture section in Eugene, Oregon, Matt worked as an English and history teacher in Detroit, San Diego, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can send news tips to [email protected].

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