The Norman Transcript

Education

February 12, 2013

Low-interest bonds continue

NORMAN — Words like “stunning” and “outstanding” were used at Monday evening’s Board of Education meeting by Chris Cochran of Capital BOSC Inc. to describe the district’s financial standing.

Cochran, the board’s bond advisor, presented good news concerning the Series 2013 portion of the 2009 Bond Issue, announcing that NPS’ high credit rating of AA2 had once again earned the district a very low interest rate.

Minneapolis firm Piper Jaffray, which saved taxpayers an estimated $2 million through its low interest rate on the previous bond series in March 2012, was again awarded transaction.

“History has repeated itself,” Cochran said. “If you notice, last year’s interest on a $23 million bond was 0.895 percent. This year is 0.893 percent, which is remarkable.”

Examining all four bond sales now paid, totaling approximately $81 million, NPS’ average interest rate on the sales has been about 1.2 percent, meaning the vast majority of tax dollars used to repay the bonds will directly fund the projects themselves and not repayment.

“Sometimes it doesn’t go this well, and when it does, you have to be happy,” Cochran said.

Good news also came to the board concerning the final project of the 2009 Bond Issue series, the Administrative Services Center, which raised serious concerns when the construction portion of the project weighed in nearly $500,000 over budget.

Bids for phase III of the project, encompassing the interior finish for both the new building and the remodeled existing building, came in about $100,000 less than expected.

“As a result of this bid and other savings, we’re actually now below budget on the entire project,” said Gary Clark of CMS Willowbrook. “After the one piece came in high, we worked hard on it, and it’s nice to have a little breathing room with things that come up.”

Additionally, Clark reported that the project is still on schedule for completion in mid-December, with Assistant Superintendent Roger Brown projecting that all Center staff will be in their appropriate locations at the return of Christmas break.

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