District authorizes $39 million borrowing plan

By Jason Arndt


The Burlington Area School District, which won approval on a capital improvement referendum in November, passed a resolution authorizing the issuance of $38.665 million in bond anticipation notes on Jan. 14.

The resolution, according to Superintendent Peter Smet, comes upon a recommendation made by the district’s financial advisor R.W. Baird.

“Our financial advisor R.W. Baird recommends doing the borrowing in two pieces because of the spend-down timeline requirements for the borrowed money,” he said. “The money must be spent in a certain number of months and they want to make sure we do not exceed that requirement.”

They are officially known as bond anticipation notes, which will be refinanced within a few months for the full 20-year term, Smet said.

Overall, the referendum approved last November allowed the district permission to take on $43.7 million in debt to pursue capitol improvement projects, including replacement of an aging Karcher Middle School.

The project includes about $32.7 million for the new middle school, with the balance going to security and maintenance upgrades at all schools, and reconfiguring grade levels at the middle and elementary school levels.

The financing plan and the first resolution to authorize bond anticipation notes, meanwhile, are just two aspects of the extensive planning phase.

Last November, after the district garnered taxpayer approval, Smet outlined various aspects of the capital improvement project.

“We are going to be in the planning phase until probably August,” he said. “That is architect planning, construction planning, city approval planning and building permits.”

Since then, Smet said, the timeline has not changed. The plan is to have construction crews break ground by this September or October on the new middle school.

To read the full story see the Jan. 31 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.