Take time to be informed about bond

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dear Editor:

Did you know that the current school bond is a design-build project? What this means is that once the bond is passed Glendive Public Schools and Johnson Controls would enter into the design phase where a detailed design is developed and agreed upon based on the cost ceiling set by the bond. It is through this design-build process that guarantees us, the taxpayers and GPS, that we will get what was agreed upon in the design. Johnson Control will be responsible for any necessary costs to meet the design that exceed the amount set by the bond. This process differs from the city’s waste water project, as that was a design-bid-build project where the final costs were based on the bids, resultng in a final cost that was much higher than initially thought. The same can be said about other school systems within the state, such as Kalispell, that utlized a design-bid-build process and as a result did not get everything in their design because the costs exceeded the bond amount.

Did you know that early on in the planning process the Core team drafted several plans and one included fixing only the critical needs of the four existng buildings? Fixing only the HVAC, electrical and plumbing needs in the four buildings was estimated to cost $32,000,000! The cost of the current bond amount is limited to $32,380,000 to build a new school, update an existing school and tear down two schools. The costs are relatively comparable considering that by only addressing the critical needs we are only putting a band aid fix on the problem. Spending minimal money to cover up existing infrastructure issues is only going to cost us more in the future with the costs of inflation and increased interest rates. Unfortunately we have reached our tipping point.

Above all, please take the time to gather the facts, tour the existing facilities and ask questions to those with first-hand knowledge before placing your ballot. Do not allow yourself to be swayed by the opinions of others (funny considering you are reading this in the opinion section), signage and social media lacking credibility or the personal agendas and attacks of some. Take the time to be informed and vote in a way that is best for you.

Get out and vote!

Kortney Diegel