Washington School District receives $500,000 matching grant
Washington Schools Superintendent Mike Jorgensen reported today that the district will receive $500,000 toward the installation of a geothermal system refit at the 1918 Washington High School building, but only if a bond referendum to upgrade the school is approved in June.
Jorgensen learned Monday afternoon that the district was one of 13 districts in Iowa to be approved for a 2010 School Construction Grant. The sticking point is that in order to receive the funds, the district is required to put up at least a 75 percent match. Jorgensen said that the district is counting on a bond referendum to provide the match.
“Originally we thought that a petition would be for $10 million, but this would knock it down to $9.5 million,” Jorgensen said. “It’s a 5-percent savings to taxpayers right off the top.”
The geothermal part of the project is expected to cost just over $4 million. The Washington School Board will meet in special session at 7:30 p.m. today in the school district office to discuss a petition for a June 28 bond referendum.
Jorgensen said he had requested the maximum amount of $500,000. He said the district used the architect’s presentation from a public forum as the plan to submit for the grant. He said the district focused on the geothermal system and didn’t include other details of the plan.
Gary Schwartz, facilities consultant for the Iowa Department of Education, said today the department administers the grants to the districts. A team of 30 grant-readers scores the submitted grants and the average score is determined. The grants with the top scores are funded. Close to $4.6 million was distributed among 13 districts this year.
For the full story, see the March 15 edition of The Washington Evening Journal