Bremen Board of Education members learned Friday that the $10 million in bonds they had hoped to sell to finance the renovations at Bremen High School netted them more than $12 million for the project.
The school system hit the market with the bonds at the right time, said Bill Camp, managing director for Raymond James Public Finance in Atlanta. Among other factors, many bonds matured as of Jan. 1 leaving the bond holders looking for new investments, so the Jan. 7 sale date was ideal, he said.
“Y’all hit a home run,” Camp said at a special meeting on Friday. “You had a lot of money and a lack of supply and rates were very low. So you had several factors helping.”
The bonds and the first couple of years of interest payments, since the new education special purpose local option sales tax proceeds won’t be available until early 2023, are a total of $13,381,771 and the system will be charged a rate of .9225%. The cost of repayment will be $14,579,500 over 10 years. The bonds will mature in April 2033.
The bonds will finance a renovation and expansion project at the high school to accommodate a growing student body and upgrade the buildings infrastructure. The renovations will replace about two-thirds of the high school, and add a second story to the oldest wing of the building. The new wing will include technologically-updated classrooms and labs and will add additional classroom space to the school.
The school system will draw on funds from both the Carroll and Haralson counties E-SPLOST revenues. It estimates it will receive about $1.7 million a year from Haralson County and about $418,000 from Carroll County each of the five years of the life of the tax. The system is counting on the E-SPLOST being renewed for another five years at the end of the most recently approved cycle to finish paying off the bonds.
The good return on the bonds takes some of the pressure off when the project goes for bid, said Superintendent David Hicks.
“We’ll get about $1.7 million from the state,” Hicks said, adding, “Because we plan conservatively on our current payments, we have money in the bank and SPLOST is performing well, we also will be able to pull money from existing funds to fill in any gaps.”
The school system will advertise for bids for the Bremen High School expansion project on or about Jan. 21 and open the bids in late February, he said.
The board members also held their regular meeting on Monday during which they:
• approved a fundraiser for the Bremen middle school and high school band program selling Jersey Mike’s Sub promotional cards.
• accepted a maternity leave request from Bremen Middle School paraprofessional Sarah Sewell.
• accepted the retirement of Bremen Middle School teacher Denice Steed effective at the end of fiscal year 2021.
• approved hiring Rachel Gladden as a substitute teacher.
• gave Superintendent Hicks a satisfactory annual evaluation and extended his contract with the school system through Jun 30, 2024.