MFL MarMac reviews current, upcoming PPEL projects

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


MFL MarMac Superintendent Dale Crozier reviewed the district’s current and upcoming physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) projects at the school board’s Oct. 11 meeting. 


“We’re doing pretty well,” said Crozier, who noted MFL MarMac had around $2.2 million in PPEL funds on hand as of Aug. 15. “Then we’re going to realize revenue in fiscal year 2022. So you try to put that in the big picture.”


Crozier said a portion of funding covers fixed expenses, including rent from the Little Bulldog Center, bus leases and other vehicle costs, technology leases and the auditorium payment. Those fixed expenses currently total $563,000.


“Going forward, revenues should exceed fixed costs by about $600,000 annually,” Crozier explained. “The surplus can go toward additional projects or paying down debt, which our only debt is the auditorium. And, every year, we’re getting closer to having no debt.”


Recent projects have included electrical and lighting upgrades in the shop, an air conditioner at the McGregor Center, the purchase of a baby grand piano, new microphones for the auditorium and upgrades to the science rooms.


“We started them, and we actually lowered the ceilings and put new lights in,” Crozier said, “but we’re going to get new science tables and burners.”


The central offices have been updated, and there are plans to upgrade the front offices as well. Interactive white boards have been purchased and installed, and the district will get new phones, likely by November. East football lights will be installed this fall, and the district is looking at completing the south parking lot at the Monona Center, finishing LED lighting and continuing to work on branding.


“That’s our marketing committee, and they’ve been working on the entrances and making our school look better and marketing on Facebook and Instagram. That’s been going very well,” Crozier said.


The exterior of the McGregor Center will also get new stucco—an update Crozier said will change the whole look of the building.


“That’s something we need to do anyway, but when we go to have another bond referendum, no one can say we’re trying to inadvertently close McGregor,” he remarked.


In January, MFL MarMac plans to bid out the elementary addition. The project was originally part of the 2019 bond referendum that included a new fieldhouse in Monona and miscellaneous upgrades in McGregor, but the measure did not pass.


Crozier said the district’s overall infrastructure, including electrical, lighting and roofing, is in good shape.


“Going forward for a long time, all that stuff is pretty much done. Really, our whole school has new everything—as far as the guts of the school,” he added.


Even after completing some of the noted projects, Crozier expects the district to have an uncovered balance in the $2.2 million to $2.5 million range. 


“There’s your answer to pay off the auditorium and have zero debt. I think that’s a reality,” he told the board. “If we build the elementary addition and pay off most or all of the auditorium, then we will be in a better position to bond. Maybe the voters will be more favorable.”


Other agenda items

• The board approved and reviewed the fiscal year 2019 certified annual report. “Once a year you’re looking at your total revenues and total expenditures. It shows we’re doing pretty well,” said Crozier. “When you look salary to salary and benefits to benefits, you can see we are moving along at a very nice pace.”

“In 2015, we spent about $10 million and took in about $10 million. Last year, we spent a little over $12 million and took in a little over $12 million, and now we’re at $14 million. Our expenditures were almost $13 million,” he added.


• Crozier said final damages from the late August storm came in at $51,618.


• The board approved extending the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave through this school year, with a two-week maximum for COVID-19 related illness.


• The district is submitting a letter of support for state sanctioning girls wrestling. “We’ve been in support of girls wrestling, and we’d be one of 32 schools that would have a team,” Crozier said. “We have a lot of girls interested.”


• The board approved some staffing updates, including a contract for Melisa Jones for high school musical assistant and the resignation of Jeremy Schellhorn from the girls basketball program.

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