Alta Superintendent Fred Maharry spoke to members of the Alta Chamber of Commerce Tuesday about the proposed $3.4 million school bond issue, and gave members the latest figures and facts about the project.
Around 15 members listened to the presentation, which included a brief history of the bond issue proposal and how proponents of the issue are working to promote it in the community.
Maharry emphasized to chamber members that the bond issue will not sway from the $3.4 million figure it is at now.
"We're not changing the $3.4 million figure," Maharry said. "That is set and will not change at all. But, we know $3.4 million won't do all of the things we need to do. That is why we have started a fundraising campaign.
"Our goal is to raise $150,000 from private contributions, $125,000 in matching funds from the city and the money we can get from revaluation of bonds," Maharry continued. "That will get us at least another $275,000 that we think will be able to help us have everything we think we will need to help our students out."
One of the most controversial topics surrounding the bond issue is the proposed addition of a new multipurpose gymnasium adjoining the elementary school, and Maharry told the chamber that room would help the areas of music, dance, physical education and athletics.
"The facility committee that helped plan the proposal was adamant that we include a gym," Maharry said. "The multipurpose room we have now is also the lunchroom, and it has a milk cooler and other things in it that are hazards when the students are in there for P.E. classes and other activities.
"It's not just a gym; it's a multipurpose room," Maharry continued. "There are many other programs that would benefit from it besides just physical education and athletics."
Chamber President Joe Aube, who also served on the facility committee, said people might have a change of heart about the gym if they would view the room during the school day.
"Initially there were some on the committee that weren't sure about including a gym and then they took a tour of it during the day and they changed their minds about that," Aube said. "I'd really suggest people take a tour of the school now during the day and see what it's like, because it's a lot different than looking at it at night with no students in there."
Maharry also told the chamber he believes the proposal may be aided by the ailing economy, as there will be numerous bidders competing for the construction job.
"We can get very competitive bids on the project, and we will be able to borrow money more easily right now," Maharry said. "I've had people tell me that we will have several bidders on the project from northwest Iowa, and that was good to hear."
Maharry said the facility committee is looking at a 15-month construction process in order to complete the proposed addition, making the new structure ready for use by the fall of 2003.
The Chamber of Commerce also discussed final plans for its 10th annual craft show, which will take place on Sat., Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Alta High School gymnasium.
Members said openings are still available for crafters wishing to participate, and organizers are also looking for people to help set up the tables in the gym Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m.
People interested in helping to set up tables are invited to call Aube at 284-2709.