Phenix City Council: $20 million school bond issue wins approval

chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 22, 2014 

Phenix City Council approved a nearly $20 million bond issue that had previously been approved by the city’s Board of Education. The school system is piggy-backing on the city’s good bond rating that allows lower interest rates. The school district is borrowing about $10 million for new capital projects and refinancing about $10 million more in existing debt, said city Finance Director Steve Smith.

The bonds, issued for a combination of 10 and 30 years, will likely be issued next month. Though the debt will technically belong to the city, the school district will make all payments.

The bond issue had already been approved by the school board, but also required council action.

As the Ledger-Enquirer previously reported, the bond issue will fund the following projects in a five-year capital plan:

• $1,924,200 for cafeteria, kitchen and office renovations and the addition of an unspecified number of classrooms at Westview Elementary School.

• $1,500,000 for roof renovations at Central High School.

• $1,500,000 for a bus barn.

• $525,000 for an access road at Central High School that will connect the school with Auburn Road, thus eliminating Dodd Drive as the only way in and out.

The bond issue also will be used to fund two projects the board previously approved:

• $1,802,500 for a four-classroom addition and multipurpose room at Sherwood Elementary School.

• $1,212,853 for a 12-classroom addition at Lakewood Primary School. The project, already in progress, is expected to cost $1,506,070. The other $293,217 will come from the bond refinanced last year.

The rest of the money from the bond issue will go pay:

• $1,500,000 for 14-15 new buses. The school system recently received seven buses and plans to order five more immediately and another five this summer. State transportation funds would be used to cover the remaining cost of the 17 new buses in total.

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