Atwater district gets a building refund

12/24/2012 10:05 PM

12/24/2012 11:06 PM

Imagine getting a $390,564 check in the mail.

This money from the state Department of Education isn't a Christmas gift, but is being gratefully acknowledged anyway by Atwater Elementary School District leaders.

Linda Levesque, the district's assistant superintendent of business services, said the State Allocation Board approved the money as part of a 50 percent share of funding for the new multipurpose room and classroom building at Mitchell Senior Elementary School.

Levesque said the $390,564 will go to reimburse the district for expenses and will be applied to the long-term debt associated with the construction.

Superintendent Melinda Hennes was elated at the reimbursement.

"We didn't expect this," Hennes said. "It was a wonderful surprise. This will be a big help; it's cash, not just a promise."

The new classroom wing at Mitchell Senior Elementary School and a companion facility at Bellevue Elementary School were completed last spring.

Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, announced that the allocations board disbursed $383.8 million to 110 school districts, charter schools and county offices of education for the school construction and modernization program.

"These new funds provide vital assistance to local districts in the construction and rebuilding of schools, creating jobs in the community and providing better opportunities to students for a successful future," Torlakson said.

The funds allocated by the State Allocation Board are from voter-approved general obligation bonds that can't be used for school operational expenses.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or

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