Baldwin offers tours to showcase bond information

BALDWIN — In an effort to showcase the repairs being asked for in their bond proposal, Baldwin Community Schools invited locals to tour the district's secondary building.

During the tours, superintendent Rick Heitmeyer showed visitors around the building, stopping to point out various issues along the way.

So far, Baldwin has hosted two tours, one on Thursday, Sept. 26, and another on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

Heitmeyer said he hopes the tours will help voters make an informed decision about the bond proposal, which will be on the ballot Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The $21-million bond project will be used to make repairs to the elementary building, as well as to construct a new secondary building.

Heitmeyer added Baldwin originally considered the idea of just making repairs to both buildings, but decided it would be more cost-effective to construct an entirely new secondary building.

Repairs on the old building would cost $12-13 million on their own and last up to 20 years, while a new secondary building, as well as repairs to the elementary building, would cost $21 million and last up to 50 years before major repairs are needed, Heitmeyer said.

With the $21-million bond, Baldwin is looking at an increased rate of 2 mills, which is $2 for every $1,000 of taxable valuation.

Their current millage is 1.24 mills, so the increase would bring the millage to 3.24 mills.

The tours are meant to show people why these increases are necessary, Heitmeyer said.

"I just hope people remember they went to school here once," he said.

For those who were unable to attend the tour dates, Baldwin also will be hosting a spaghetti dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, and a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

While enjoying a free meal, attendees will have the chance to learn more about the bond proposal before voting.

"This is a well-used building and it really has served its purpose," Heitmeyer said. "It's just time we make some much needed updates."