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      Republic-Michigamme makes second attempt at bond proposal

      Republic-Michigamme School is firing up a second attempt at getting voters to support a multi-million dollar energy renovation project.

      The bond proposal is for a $4.2 million dollar installation of a wood boiler and various measures to make the building more energy efficient.

      The school has been standing since 1963, but it hasn't seen a major renovation to its heating system since its creation.

      Teachers say the outdated system is causing distractions in the classroom.

      "There have been times when we've had jackets and mittens on teaching, and kids have asked to put their jackets on too," says 13-year first grade teaching veteran Lori Bluse.

      Part of the problem lays within the aging steam lines. Thousands of feet of pipes currently operate the schools system are deteriorating.

      To fix it, they'd like to convert to a hot water heater and create new lines above the existing ones. They'd also like to switch from fuel to a wood chip boiler, as well as repair and replace inefficient windows and doors.

      In total, they say the 'no frills' repairs will cost more than $4 million dollars. Voters turned down a similar proposal in February by just 29 votes.

      "Some of the reaction I've heard from some people is 'shut the school down, we'll save money,' but it won't save money, their dollars will just go somewhere else," says School Administrator Paul Currie.

      Currie says he wants voters to realize, they're already paying less in taxes for education than most other communities as the school only has 1.3 mills of debt.

      "We have done a lot with a little, and we're asking for a little more, not a lot," says Currie.

      An open house will be held November 2nd at 7 p.m. for the public to get a closer look at the plans. The bond proposal will be voted on November 8th.

      If passed, construction will start almost immediately, and the heating and lighting renovations will be completed by next fall.