Good news! The first steps towards beginning the design process for our new schools is underway. We will be interviewing two highly qualified Architecture firms on Monday, May 1. One of these firms will be selected to lead the way in designing our new Fords Prairie and Jefferson Lincoln schools! Board approval will, of course, be required before we can enter into any official partnership.
Stay tuned, we'll have information about interviewing and hiring an architect for the renovation of Centralia High School very soon.
The CSD Board of Directors has unanimously approved the hiring of OAC services as project manager for the district's upcoming construction projects. The firm has strong local ties to Centralia. Principal Dan Chandler is a 1976 graduate of Centralia High School and Senior Associate Kasey L. Wyatt is a 1993 tiger alum.
OAC will be responsible for overseeing the planning and construction phases of the voter-approved bond projects. Those projects include the remodel of Centralia High School and the replacement of both Jefferson Lincoln and Fords Prairie elementary schools. Wyatt will be the lead project manager and expressed excitement at the opportunity to work in Centralia. "Having the opportunity to work with Centralia is something that been on our radar, both Dan and I, for as long as we have been with OAC. We’re both very connected to the community and very passionate about education. This is a dream opportunity for us to serve this opportunity and to show our skills in K-12 planning and construction,” she said."
We are continuing to push forward towards groundbreaking. OAC is already soliciting architecture and design firms and hopes to launch the design process with in the coming few months.
Next in the process is the first round of bond sales, which will be overseen by D. A. Davidson. That will take place on May 9th in Seattle.
Read more about OAC here.
What happens after voters approve a school district construction bond is a really fascinating process. Many people believe that once the property tax is approved, the district simply collects the money from the county treasurer annually, and uses that to pay loans acquired during the construction process. This assumption isn't far from reality, however the financing of school construction works a little differently than financing the purchase or construction of a home. Our Board of Directors unanimously approved Resolution 2017-01 on March 15th, which allows our superintendent or his delegates to issue and sell bonds to obtain financing for bond projects.
In order to obtain the debt financing required to carry out our construction projects, we must first sell what are called unlimited tax general obligation bonds in an aggregate amount that is not to exceed the $74 million approved by voters. This usually happens in several series over a few years as we have a requirement to spend the money earned from the sale of these bonds within a time period specified by state law. The process of selling these bonds is somewhat similar to stock trading on Wall Street.
We are working with D. A. Davidson, a company that specializes in this type of financing. They will purchase the bonds from us and then resell them to investors after setting prices and interest rates that make them attractive. This gives us the financing we need to build new schools!
We aren't wasting any time in getting to work on the three bond projects voters approved in February. Our project manager selection committee is interviewing candidate companies this morning in the District Office Boardroom. Once selected and approved by the Board of Directors, the project manager will be responsible for helping the district keep the three construction projects on target, on time, and on budget. They will also help ensure that the district complies with all applicable regulatory requirements.
Throughout our recent bond campaign, district officials made repeated promises that we would conduct the business of modernizing our schools as openly and transparently as possible. This blog is part of our effort to live up to that promise.
We will update the blog regularly with information about the project status, developments in the process, etc. In addition, regular reports will be made to the community through a variety of media distribution channels to make sure that you are well informed about the ways we are using your generous investment.
Check back often, and we'll make sure to update when new information arises!
Thank you once again for your support of education in Centralia.