Steps approved for funding high school building project

Steps approved for funding high school building project by David Lias Now that voters in the Vermillion School District have spoken, the school board is responding.

The board approved a resolution to issue $3.2 million general obligation bonds at its meeting Monday to fund construction after nearly 70 percent of district patrons agreed in a bond election earlier this month that improvements to the school are needed.

Darwin Reider, the school district�s financial consultant for the project, told the board that the first portion of the bond issuance had been prepared. The board�s resolution, he said, appoints First National Bank of Sioux Falls as the paying agent for the bonds.

�We started the marketing process one-and-a-half weeks ago,� Reider said.

The net interest cost of the bonds is 5.07 percent. They have an average rate of interest of 4.93 percent. The district�s annual average annual payment on the bonds will be $282,000, which will require property tax levies to increase $1.01 per $1,000 of assessed taxable valuation.

That repayment rate is less than what officials had estimated before the April 13 election.

The bonds, plus approximately $2.1 million in capital outlay certificates, will be used to construct a new 750-seat auditorium, a new commons/dining facility that will seat 300 people and a new kitchen.

A new auxiliary gymnasium will also be built, and the school�s library will be expanded to meet the high school�s academic needs.

Reider suggested that the board wait until it meets with its architect before deciding on a firm figure on the dollar amount for the capital outlay certificate issue.

�I suggest that we should determine the size of the certificate issue after meeting with the architect,� he said.

Should the bids for project come in under the architect�s estimate, the funds collected from the issuance of capital outlay certificates can be returned to taxpayers, Reider said.

He added that the board may want to consider placing any excess capital outlay funds into a special construction account that could either be used to help lower the debt on the high school project, or be used for future capital outlay projects the district will face in the future.

The board also heard a presentation from Beckenhauer Construction of Norfolk, NE. The firm utilizes a construction management approach in commercial building endeavors.

The board took no action.

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