Board of Education Members
October Issue by Brian Campbell, Board Treasurer
What a great beginning to the school year! Thank you to all who helped make the start of the 2018-2019 school year a huge success, from participation in open houses, extra-curricular events, community events, volunteering, and making sure our students are to school safely each day! As you know, during the 2017-2018 school year, Tri County Area Schools began the planning for a bond initiative, which included numerous community meetings for input on what the future of Tri County will look like. In less than a month we will vote on the initiative and we want to help keep our community informed about the bond.
On Tuesday, November 6, our community will vote on the central campus concept that was created through community input and feedback last school year. The central campus concept provides improved classroom space, updated furniture, new science labs and is a design concept built to promote educational programming and expand learning opportunities (i.e. S.T.E.M.). Being on a central campus will provide improved bus transportation efficiencies and reduce elementary ride time, operations and technology will be able to serve a single center site, and the updated buildings will be more energy efficient, all of this allowing more dollars to go back into the classroom.
As we close in on the vote many are asking about the cost of the project and their personal cost. The bond is asking for $40,785,000. The easiest way to understand a bond is to think of it in terms similar to a mortgage. For example, you borrow the cost of your house at 5% interest for 30 years. A bond is borrowing the cost of the improvements at 3-5% for 25 years. You make payments on it until it is paid off. The bond is not a renewal. In order for the district to bond $40,785,00 it will mean a 1 mill increase above our current mills of 2.881 in debt mills and 1.5 mills sinking fund (2.881+1.5=4.381). The 1 mill increase will put the new total mills at 5.381. All of our current debt mills fall off in 2019 and 2020, which includes the sinking fund mills. Since the current debt mills fall off in two different years, the district will replace those mills by selling the bond in two phases in order to keep the debt mill total at 5.381.
The bond will continue the work of the sinking fund on improving safety around the campus. The buildings will be updated with more key fob electronic entrances, improved camera systems, along with better site circulation. The goal with the bond is to have multiple entrances and exits on Kendaville Road, and an entrance and exit to Amy School Road. The improvement to site circulation will continue to improve safety on the campus roads along with improvement to efficiencies when exiting the campus before and after school and events.
During the community feedback sessions for the bond concept a goal to have students arrive home earlier from school and practices was clearly expressed. As stated, the central campus will help eliminate the hub, which is minimally an extra 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening for students ride time. Another factor to support students not being home late is the central campus concept includes additional gym space. Currently, student practices may run as late at 9:00 p.m., and often it is the youngest students who have these later practice times. Parents have shared the challenge of long bus runs and late practices leading to less home and family time. The central campus concept can help make a change to these issues.
For all the complete facts and pictures of these concepts please visit the website at tcbondinfo.com.