By TRAVIS MORSE firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON – Efforts are underway to appraise the market value of the Mount Vernon Township High School campus, but no price estimates have yet been announced.
Officials hope to sell some or all of the buildings at the site to help pay for the $72.8 million new school project. Superintendent Michael Smith gave an update on the process at Monday night's MVTHS Board of Education meeting.
“We should soon be getting market appraisal,” Smith said. “Each parcel of land is being appraised separately.”
The appraisal, which is being conducted by Reeder Appraisal Services, is a key part of determining the site's value, said Karen Goodwine, school board vice president.
“We're getting the appraisal. That will help us set a price. So we have to go forward from there,” Goodwine said.
The original plan was to sell Buildings G and H and to demolish the rest. However, school officials want to have all the land appraised in case there is a buyer for the entire campus, said Carl Miller, school board president.
As of mid-May, the new school project was nearing the end of the design development stage. An estimated $48 million for the project will come from the Illinois Capital Development Board while the local share will be $27.7 million.
Voters recently approved a $19.8 million bond referendum for the project. Local officials want to raise much of the remaining funds by selling the current school property. If the sale is unsuccessful, demolition would cost an estimated $1.8 million.
Smith reported Monday that the established budget for the new school project is “on target” and “in good shape.”
Goodwine said there is no validity to concerns raised previously about the new curved design being more expensive.
“We have been right on schedule and right now the architects are working very hard,” Goodwine said. “Everyone's been very pleased with the preliminary drawings and the renderings we've seen.”
Bidding is set to start in October, Smith said. The bids would then be received and awarded in November or December. Construction would start no later than January.