Superintendent Patrick Twomey said the district hoped to open its new middle school in the fall of 2021. But now it looks like that won't happen.
Dr. Twomey said the district and architects have not been able to meet as often as they normally would during such a project.
“Normally, when you’re in this stage, big teams of people come together and you really hammer out a lot of details. Some of those things -- while they’re still happening -- are not happening at the same pace they would if we were able to have face-to-face meetings in larger groups,” Twomey said.
He said it might be early fall before the project goes out to bid, several months behind the original schedule.
The estimated cost of the new middle school is $19 million.
The district planned to issue bonds to cover half the cost. It would repay the bonds with revenue generated by the county’s one-cent sales tax for school construction projects.
Twomey said the district has a “significant amount of money” in its Transportation Fund and in its Operations and Maintenance Fund to help make up the difference if sales tax revenues fall short of projections.
But he said Macomb is a regional shopping hub so he believes its sales tax revenue might not be hit especially hard by the pandemic.
“All these surrounding communities come to Macomb to shop. So even under COVID, Walmart and those places are still open and generating significant dollars,” Twomey said.
Twomey hopes the district will receive a state grant to pay the other half of the projected cost. But he said it appears the pandemic has delayed the awarding of such grants.
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