All of the bonds were sold on May 24, 2016, which makes up just over half of total costs of the projects, the rest will come from the state in the form of state match money in July, 2017. By selling the bonds now we can begin the construction immediately.
Some very important factors took place that have saved our community a significant amount of money. First, because of the fiscal responsibility of the board of directors, the district is out of debt, and has a fairly safe fund balance. In addition to these two important factors, the community is stable in terms of businesses and growth. Together these factors created a positive situation for our future.
Most districts have a state rating of AA+ because they are guaranteed bonds by the state, but in addition, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) gives a financial rating for schools. Because of the Districts growing tax base, excellent financial management, and stable community were key elements that contributed to the securing a rating of A+ from S&P.
This very high rating proved to be important during bond sales. All bonds were sold within 90 minutes, all $17,881,998 in bonds were obtain, along with enough to pay all costs of selling the bonds and the first interest payment of over $300,000. This positive rating also cut our initial 25 yr. payment period, and was reduced to 21 yrs., a saving of an estimated $1,826,000 in interest costs. Lastly, the bonds were sold for a true interest cost of 2.81% and the estimated bond tax rate will be $2.59/1000, which is $.14 less than the expected $2.73/1000. Great news.
Plan for construction
The plans are to complete the track this summer, start the middle school in the fall. Upon completing the MS, it will be used to move students in and out as we remodel the other buildings. We hope that once we get started there will be minimal interruptions to the education of students and construction can be continuous until completed. Hope to be completed for full move in by fall of 2018.
There is a lot of preliminary work that has to be completed behind the scenes before any actual work begins. Most of that is almost completed. Contracts for architect; Architects West was selected, Construction Management firm; CSG was selected, Surveying; Erlandsons was selected, Bond sales; DA Davidson was selected, and then the state has their own paperwork process that must be followed that we are working through.
With any work that is happening, if we have qualified businesses locally, we will make sure those companies have an opportunity to put a bid for the work. With few exceptions all work has to be put out to bid.
This is a process where we take all of the state requirements for school buildings and staff input for their particular spaces, put this information into a document and that goes to the architect. The architect then begins the first step of the design process. There are numerous reviews by staff and community along this process before it is finalized.
Surveying of the track area is presently in progress. The engineer has made a site visit, design will begin shortly. Currently we will have all the area around the track paved, all-weather surfacing for the entire track (red track with white lines), fencing to enclose the track, increased area for bleachers for both track and football, and updated scoreboards. More information will follow.
Progress is being made on the pool cover. City council members, city superintendent, pool manager, boys and girls club supervisor and school district personnel have been meeting every 2-3 weeks for the last three months. They have run into a few snags but feel they can be overcome, however it may be one of the last things completed due to these complications.
Public/School Library combination
Progress is being made in this area. One of the hurdles is school laws vs public laws. School laws are much more restrictive and if the public library was housed on school property, school laws would have to be followed. The public library system is not opposed to that, but it is a public library, so there will need to be community input about that decision. If it is decided that the combo has more advantages to the community and is willing to follow the school laws, the North Central Regional Library would be open to that idea. However, if the community decides otherwise, then the two will not combine. More information and meetings to follow.
SAFETY, SECURITY, MODERNIZATION
Preparing For Growth
Improve opportunities For Our Kids, For Our Community, For Our Future
Below is the link to our Newsletter "Bond Edition"