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The overall budget for Schuyler Community Schools will increase this year, thanks largely in part to an approximately $13.5 million spike in the district’s special building fund.

The SCS Board of Education approved the new budget Monday during its monthly meeting. The budget is set at $43,994,079, an increase of more than $14 million over the previous year thanks to renovations and refurbishments happening at Schuyler Central High School.

Construction has started on a new gym and commons area for the high school, along with a transformation of the school’s old gym into an events center.

SCS Superintendent Dan Hoesing explained that due to the bond election earlier this year, the selling of those bonds triggered an increase in that particular part of the budget.

“The building fund that had a tax request in it a year ago, that tax request went to zero,” Hoesing said. “When they sold the bonds, the balance in the bond fund plus the sale of the bonds (gave us) $13,500,000 in the account.”

There were several slight increases in other parts of the budget. Activities, school nutrition, bonds, qualified capital purpose undertaking and student fees all were among them, though not at the level that the building fund saw.

“It looks like a big increase, but your biggest increase is in that building fund,” Hoesing said. “You’re building a high school addition.”

In other school board happenings:

*The board approved its tax request for the school year. The proposed property tax rate decreased slightly, from $1.123751 cents to $1.123750 per $100 of assessed valuation.General fund tax rates remained the same, as did qualified capital purpose funds. The increase in the bond fund led to a similar increase in the tax rate, from $0.036348 cents to $0.072695 cents.

*The district was presented with a payment check for buses in the Trailer Court area in Schuyler. A group of parents attended the meeting, presented to the board by board member Nina Lanuza, to thank the board for providing this service.

“They are grateful for the service,” Lanuza said. “There are 57 students currently using the service. This has impacted their life in a different way. For some of them, it’s time; for others, it’s safety. They are really grateful for the service and they just wanted to say thank you.”

*The board approved the resignations of two SCHS staff members, while accepting the hire of a new para educator at Schuyler Middle School. Jennifer Svoboda resigned to accept an assistant coaching position in the track and field program at Stanford University after just one year as a science teacher.

Svoboda, a Howells native, had previously coached at the University of Southern Mississippi and had coached several NCAA championship participants. In response to the resignation, board member Brian Vavricek joked that the district needed to do more to compete with the Cardinals.

“What do we need to change so we can do a better job competing with Stanford?” Vavricek said.

*Carol Shockley, a member of the food services team at SCHS, has resigned thanks to surgery on her lower back. The board thanked her for her service to the district.

*Kristian Rocha was accepted as a new para educator at SMS. He will work in special education.

*The board also approved an $11 million Maximum Price Amendment to Hausmann Construction regarding the renovations.

Zach Roth is a reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at zachary.roth@lee.net

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Zach Roth is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at zachary.roth@lee.net.

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