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Decatur school board approves bond issuance to move forward with BOLD plan

Decatur school board approves bond issuance to move forward with BOLD plan

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DECATUR — School board members approved a $32 million bond issuance  to make further advancements in their BOLD facilities plan to turn Decatur Public Schools into a destination district. 

The board had to make some adjustments to Tuesday night's meeting after Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week announced a stay at home order due to the coronavirus outbreak. Under the order, Illinois residents are expected to stay home but those employed by what are considered "essential workplaces" can attend work functions. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and President Donald Trump have said gatherings should be limited to 10 or fewer people. 

Board members Beth Creighton, Kendall Briscoe, Andrew Taylor and Board President Beth Nolan were present at the Keil Administration Building, 101 W. Cerro Gordo St., for the meeting while Regan Lewis, Dan Oakes and Courtney Carson participated over the phone. Superintendent Paul Fregeau was also at the meeting in the Keil Building. 

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The public was not allowed to attend the meeting to comply with the federal and state orders but could submit comments to the district via email ahead of time, said Denise Swarthout, a spokesperson for the district. Board Secretary Melissa Bradford read two public comments at the end of the meeting. One comment was in reference to COVID-19 and asked that the board consider not canceling graduation but that they reschedule it for later in the summer. 

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The district planned to issue a total of $55 million in bonds for the BOLD facilities plan that calls for the reconstruction and renovations of multiple buildings. Board members during the meeting Tuesday approved a $32 million bond issuance as part of that originally planned $55 million. The board in 2019 approved an issuance for $10 million, which was the first of the overall $55 million according to Todd Covault, chief operational officer. 

The next board meeting will be on April 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Keil Administration Building. 

Contact Analisa Trofimuk at (217) 421-7985. Follow her on Twitter: @AnalisaTro

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