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NEW MARKET — South Montgomery Community School Corp. plans to borrow up to $3 million for upgrades beyond the district’s major renovation project.
The school board began the process Monday of issuing a general obligation bond for an extensive list of repairs and improvements to school buildings and athletic fields. General obligation bonds are backed by the credit and taxing power of the school district rather than revenue from the project.
The district first announced the possibility of borrowing the funds in June as a team of school leaders began identifying the most urgent projects. Among the top priorities is renovating the downstairs Southmont locker rooms, said Brad Monts, school board president.
“It’s a combination of disrepair and air quality and different things. We’ve tried to throw some Band-Aids on it, but we’ve got to do something,” Monts said in a public hearing during the regular school board meeting.
Replacing lights at the football field is also near the top of the list. A company that was sent to make repairs recently told the district that the lights, which have been an ongoing concern, were unsafe.
“In the words of the professionals, they’re at the end of life,” operations and technology director Brett Higgins told board members.
Other possible projects range from furniture for the high school commons, which is being renovated, to new iPads for students in grades K-2. The list also includes HVAC upgrades for the high school gym, security cameras and activity buses.
The total cost will be determined when the list of projects are finalized, Monts said. The impact on the debt service tax fund rate is projected to be 11.17 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, corporation attorney Dan Taylor said.
Plans call for an October bond sale, according to a timeline presented by district financial adviser Stifel. The funds would be received in November with the first payment due in July.