Oroville School Board approves $1.2 million capital levy

OROVILLE – The Oroville School Board approved a three-year capital improvement levy of $1,200,129 to put a new roof on the elementary school.

Approval of resolution #254 came at the board’s special meeting held on Monday, Aug. 6 in the district board room. After discussing the various options to address the repairs, especially to the elementary school roof, Director Todd Hill made a motion to approve the resolution and it was seconded by newly seated Director Travis Loudon. The resolution passed unanimously 3-0, as board members Amy Wise and David Nutt were unable to attend.

The three-year capital levy will cover the costs for a new roof at the elementary school, which is badly in need of repair. If bids come in lower than expected and there is any money left over, it will be used for elementary school capital improvements to the facility.

“We approved the Capital Projects Levy for the roof because we felt it was an absolute priority and in the best interest of the town to be focused on limiting the money we ask for as much as possible because of the current economy,” said Director Rocky DeVon, board chairman.

The advantages of a Capital Projects Levy is there is no interest cost and they can be approved with a simple majority vote. Superintendent Steve Quick said there will be some interest as the district will have to take a loan, which will be paid back through the levy.

“We will have to get some non-voter approved debt to pay for the roof project because the money comes in over three years. Otherwise we would have to divide the project into three phases, working on each phase as the money comes in, or wait three years to start the project,” Quick said. “The roof can’t wait that long.”

Quick said the $1,200,129 price tag was estimated by a construction management firm hired by the district.

“We’ve had bids from two firms that were both high, I assume the construction management firm’s estimate was conservative, because the district wants to avoid cost overruns. The old roof has served for well over its life, we want to make sure we get a new roof that serves for more than its estimated life.”

In the only other item on the agenda, Chuck Ricevuto, head of the Oroville Coach’s Association, voiced his support for allowing eighth grade students the opportunity to play on high school athletic teams in accordance with Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) regulations. Ricevuto, who coaches wrestling, said he especially supported eightth grade participation in baseball, softball and boys and girls soccer.

After considerable discussion between Ricevuto and the school directors, the board decided to ask the administrators to research the proposal. They suggested the administrators especially talk with schools that have been involved in the practice in order to find out the pros and cons of letting eighth graders play on high school teams.

“We directed the AD, the coaches, principal and superintendent to investigate how other schools do this and the impact on their programs, especially injury rates in the eighth graders compared to other kids,” said Director DeVon. “We understand we want to solve this problem of not having enough players on the team, but we don’t want to risk the health of the kids.”

Dual participation will be an agenda item at the upcoming regular August board meeting, according to Supt. Quick.

DeVon said that there is some talk of raising the GPA requirements for those wishing to participate in two sports during a season.

“Last year we only had two kids who did dual participation,” DeVon said.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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