May 17th, 2021
April 30th, 2021
Oberon School Receives $4.7 million Federal Grant
Oberon School has just made another giant step towards moving into the new school building. UBL Design has completed another rendition of the school (Schematic Design), but we are still not there. This design phase usually takes some time. Making sure the design gets us the biggest bang for our buck and is pleasing to the school board and administration is very time consuming. We want to make sure we get it right the first time!
You can click on the images and get a visual of what the outside of the building will potentially look like. We’re still in the designing phase, so the colors and exterior material shown here may change. And, this playground equipment is only a model of what could be on the playground.
Let us know what you think!
Conceptual Design is finally here! While the school is still very much in the design phase, we can now see how the school will be located on the land just south of Oberon.
Oberon School District has received a $4.7 million grant from the Department of Education: Impact Aid. The Oberon School Board elected to compete against other schools who may be impacted by federal lands and was successful. It is really a surprise for all involved. The school will be built just south of the Oberon city limits on a 12 acre plot that belonged to Jane and Joan Cudworth. At one point their father farmed the land, but it has more recently been in the CRP program for around 8 years. The land was purchased at $5000/acre and had to go through a grueling process to insure it met all the federal requirements and was capable of handling a one-story school building.
Braun Intertec Corporation created a grid to test the site and after a 2-1/2 days of boring holes at different depths, determined the land was ideal for new construction.
School Administrator (Superintendent/Principal), Dr. Lane Azure has wanted to provide everyone with something that they can actually see. We have the land, we have the funds, we just have to wait for the drawings to be completed before the actual building can be conceptualized.
The School District Land Owners became interested in the project once Senator Heitkamp and Hoeven announced the we actually were awarded the federal grant. Some of the Land Owners’ concerns have been shared at Oberon School Board meetings, but not everyone is aware of what will take place. The big question is if the taxes the school assesses will go up? The answer to that is a great big “NO”! In fact, since Dr. Lane Azure has been in his current position, the land owners of Oberon School District have probably seen a drop in their annual tax bills. We encourage you to look it over, because if your bill has went up, it certainly isn’t because Oberon School has raised taxes. Since July 2015, Oberon School District has decreased the amount of taxes assessed to district land owners by over 12% (about $76,000 over 3 years). A new school built on funds from the federal government will not affect (increase) district taxes.
Additionally, Ubl Design Group is working with engineers who are well-versed in developing a design that may allow the school to operate for less. In other words, the New School will operate at less than what it costs to operate the current 100 year old building. Dr. Azure and Oberon School Board are doing everything possible to make sure the new school adds value to Oberon City, even if it will be just outside city limits. The school has managed to set aside nearly $300,000 in savings to assist in making sure the school has some things that might be outside the scope of the project. For example, maybe a new bus barn will be built on school grounds to house the new buses the district has purchased? Maybe a larger playground will be constructed? Maybe the parking lot will be paved rather than crushed gravel? When the design is complete, we will have more firm answers.
In Summary, Oberon School District School Board and Administration have:
- Increased student enrollment (4%)
- Increased revenue (14%) from State and Federal programs
- DECREASED (12% or $76,000) DISTRICT TAXES to district land owners
- Decreased overall school district spending (6%)
- Reconciled & Balanced the school budget
- Carried over the maximum allowable according to ND State formula (35% of expenditures plus $50,000) creating a healthy and stable balance in the general fund and this balance has allowed the District to:
- Create a building/construction fund of nearly $300,000
- Purchase three (3) buses 2015 and newer
- Updated technology in the school for Students (1:1),
- teachers (laptops and JTouch Interactive Boards), and the
- building (School wide WIFI via Fiber Optic)
- Secured funding ($4.7 million) for a New School
The School Board and Administration will do our best to have a community informational meeting if you have any questions that you need answered. You can always contact me (701) 350-0192 (cell) if you would like to talk to me personally, or stop into the school.
For now, we will try our best to keep you informed.