HANNIBAL | The Hannibal Board of Education approved a resolution Wednesday night that clears the way for the district to receive a low interest energy loan of almost $1.2 million from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
According to Rich Stilley, district business manager, the loan will pay for all the new lights that will be installed over the summer during Phase 2 of the district's multimillion-dollar renovation project that began in 2019.
“We really were not counting on it,” said Stilley, regarding the loan. “Sometimes you throw a line out and hope to catch a fish and we did.”
While DNR grants have helped the district secure more energy-friendly school buses, this is the first energy-related assistance it has received.
“We tried to take advantage of those (state) programs that are available because it helps our district, it helps our community and it helps our kids,” Stilley said.
After applying for the loan in September, Stilley learned the district had been approved around the first January.
Phase 2 of the renovation project will occur at the middle school, Korf Gym and in the 1988 addition of the high school.
“It is really the same thing,” Stilley said, regarding the planned improvements. “It's power, it's boilers, it's air-conditioning HVAC. There will be some safety upgrades, new windows and finally some plumbing. The plumbing will include retrofitting restrooms to make sure they are ADA compliant.”
Soon the planned work will be going out for bid. Each building will be bid out as a separate project. According to Stilley, viewing the renovations as three separate pieces will help the district secure better bids “because it adds competition.”
As was the case with Phase 1 last year, work will commence shortly after the last bell sounds this spring.
“The day school ends we are going to begin,” Stilley said.
During the December board meeting Stilley said a few “punch list” items remained to be dealt with before Phase 1 could be considered complete. On Wednesday Stilley said Phase 1 is for the most part finished at the high school.
“We are very pleased with how it turned out,” he said.
Stilley stressed that the renovations which are planned and have already occurred would not have been possible without the community's support.
“We are thankful for that support,” he said. “We will continue to move forward and get these projects finished prior to the start of school next year.”