GROTON — With renovation work at Groton-Dunstable middle schools north and south complete, members of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee voted to sell bond anticipation notes (BAN) to a local bank clearing the way for debt dissolution for the twin projects.
The total amount of money borrowed for the renovation projects $9,228,796 will be included in the BAN transaction, according to district Director of Business and Finance Craig Young.
The total amount borrowed for the renovation projects came to $13,060,799, but with a reimbursement of $3,832,003 from the state’s School Building Assistance fund, the district is only responsible for the remaining $9.2 million.
Included in the BAN amount is $527,138 for the middle school south project, $8,301,658 for the middle school north and $400,000 associated with litigation involved with the high school land.
Final costs for each project came to $15.8 million for the middle school north and $2.3 million for the middle school south.
Buying the notes will be the Bank of America, which won a bidding process against a number of other financial institutions by offering the lowest interest rate of 3.49 percent, or an overall interest charge of $111,835 over the life of the loan.
“I thought it was a very competitive bid,” said Young.
The loan will be for a period of four months maturing on Aug. 18 when the bonds are expected to be sold to investors. The investors will be paid by the district from various revenue sources over a period of time.
With last week’s action by the School Committee, Young said the middle school renovation projects are finished with all work at the two schools complete and no outstanding items remaining on punch lists.
Wednesday’s meeting of the School Committee was an unscheduled emergency meeting called as a deadline of April 13 loomed for payment of the entire original $9.2 million loan.
The sale of the notes was approved by the School Committee with a unanimous 4-0 vote.
Present for Wednesday’s decision were committee members Cindy Barrett, Paul Fitzgerald, Alberta Erickson, and Karen Lofgren.
Absent from the meeting were members Alan Vervaeke, Frank O’Connell, and Chairman Charles McKinney.
At the April 5 meeting, committee members also voted unanimously to support a resolution calling for the state to “provide adequate funding to support (prekindergarten through grade 12) public education.”
“Recognizing that the governor and the legislators have demonstrated a commitment to support public education during the initial years of the passage of the Education Reform Act (ERA) of 1993,” states the resolution, “this financial commitment must continue so as to ensure that every student reaches proficiency performance levels established by state standards and the Adequate Yearly Progress targets embodied within the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.”
Urging state officials to take more proactive measures in supporting more funding for public schools, the resolution makes demands including:
A fully-funded regional school transportation program.
A readjustment of the foundation budget formula to reflect rising costs of insurance and special education programs.
More relief in cases where school spending exceeds its foundation budget by at least three times the state average.
The appropriation of $35 million earmarked for special education transportation costs.
A greater share of state lottery earnings.
A readjustment upward vis- -vis local spending of state aid to public schools.
“I think the spirit of (the resolution) is great,” said Fitzgerald.
According to Lofgren, the committee’s endorsement of the resolution means the next move will be to present it to the boards of selectmen and finance committees of Groton and Dunstable. Along with it will be a concurrent petition drive to gather signatures for the eventual submission to legislators at the state capitol.