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Hudson School Board approves entering into state partnership program

by Tim Troglen | reporter Published: October 2, 2016 12:05 AM
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Hudson -- The Board of Education gave a unanimous nod Sept. 26 to participate in the states' Expedited Local Partnership Program.

Taking part in the program will not save any immediate funds, according to Hudson Business Manager Derek Cluse, but thousands of dollars could be saved on future projects.

Earlier in the meeting the Board also approved the 2016 Master Facilities Plan, which includes options such as constructing a new middle school in the future.

"Participation in this program is our way of pursuing any and all viable venues of potential funding for our facility improvements," Cluse said at the meeting.

The district applies for any and all grant opportunities, no matter how big or small, Cluse added. Some grants have helped offset security improvements at district schools as well as the courtyard refurbishing project at East Woods Elementary.

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Currently there is a water testing program the district has applied for which would give the district $15,000 per building to test water and equipment for any issues as well as replace fixtures and parts.

The expedited program looks at the district's master plan and building assessments.

"They look at total square footage and make sure we're utilizing all square footage and develop their master plan," Cluse said.

If the district agrees with the plan, the state will provide a 6 percent credit for construction.

Cluse said Hudson would not be eligible for any funds for maybe five or 10 years.

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"There are maybe 30 to 40 ahead of Hudson," Cluse said.

According to Cluse it's good to be in the program so if 10 or 20 years down the road a new elementary school is proposed, the district would be in line for funding.

"The program is not going to provide us any funding as far as any projects today or in the next few years," Cluse said. "But we don't leave any money on the table so we apply now."

The district is also taking part in the state facilities exceptional needs portion of the program, which did not need to be approved by the Board, Cluse said.

The program applies to specific district buildings which might have problems such as age, overcrowding or other issues which might be needed for a new building.

The exceptional needs program allows districts to "leap frog" in line for funding. The middle school is a potential target for the program, Cluse said. Based on a set of criteria, the district is ranked 567 out of 612 districts and would be eligible for 6 percent immediate match on any investments qualified for under the criteria.

Board President Dave Zuro supported the venture and said he appreciate Cluse "not leaving any stone unturned where we might find some funding."

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9435


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