BOE seeks bond issue: Money would pay for construction of new middle school

Published 7:54 am Wednesday, September 17, 2008

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
The Brewton Board of Education will ask the City of Brewton to secure a $20 million bond issue to help pay for a new middle school.
The school board voted Monday to ask the city for its help.
In addition, the school board would have to designate one fund source if it secured the bonds.
Smith told the school board Monday that, according to his rough estimate of the cost of construction, the $20 million in bonds will all go to the new school.
Smith has said he hopes the school could open by2011, although no timeline has been set.
Last month, the city accepted the school board's proposed price of $550,000 for a more than 100-acre piece of property on U.S. 31 North on which to build the new middle school. That purchase amount will be included in the $20 million bond issue.
The school board will also receive $1.3 million from a state bond issue for school construction projects. That money could be used for other projects if the school construction does not exceed the $20 million bond issue.
Smith said he expects the school board to make an annual payment of $1.9 million over 15 years to pay off the bond issue. Some of that money will come from accumulated funds from a 10-mill property tax increase passed four years ago.
The school board also agreed to pay $45,000 to RMCC Inc. to clear the land and prepare it for construction. Smith said the work is more than he expected to do at first, but it will help the surveyors do their job and will save time and money later.
The work falls under a public works project so does not have to be bid out because the cost is under $50,000, Smith said.
Board member Terrell Neal said the clearing work will leave a minimum of 150 feet of natural vegetation as a buffer between the school and other property.
The board also agreed to contract with Volkert and Associates to provide surveying and topographical services at the school site.