Hutto ISD votes to sell $54 million in bonds to fund construction of second high school

0

The Hutto ISD board of trustees voted Thursday night to sell the remaining balance of its voter-approved bond funds to build a ninth-grade center that will open at the end of the 2020 fall semester.

The ninth-grade center will ultimately expand to become the school district’s second high school and will be the first capital project built on a 160-acre plot of land off FM 1660. Other district campuses, including a middle school, an elementary school and an agriculture barn, have been previewed on that same land.

District voters in 2008 approved $128 million in bonds for projects in the district. With tonight’s vote, the district will issue the last remaining $54.9 million of those bond funds.

In a presentation to the board tonight, Pfluger Architects official Jessica Molter said the estimated price tag of the new ninth-grade center is $44 million in hard capital costs and an additional $9.5 million in “soft costs”. Those expenses include design, regulatory costs, management, contingency, technology, furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Altogether, the new campus will cost the district $53.4 million. Hutto ISD Chief Financial Officer Glenn Graham said the remaining $1 million in bond funds serves as a buffer in the chance costs exceed the initial estimates. If that $1 million remains unused, the district retains the flexibility to use them on other voter-approved capital projects.

Bank of Oklahoma serves as the school district’s financial advisors, according to Graham. Josh McLaughlin, a representative from Bank of Oklahoma, presented to the board Thursday ahead of its vote on the item.

McLaughlin outlined several parameters on the bond issuance in his presentation, including a mandate that the interest rate on the bonds not rise above 4.11 percent.

Additionally, the school must sell all of the bonds by mid-March, and it cannot sell more than $54.9 million in bonds.

“The market for Texas district school bonds are still very active,” McLaughlin told the board. “Interest rates are still historically attractive, making this a good time to sells bonds.”

The district will now move to sell the bonds Oct. 5 so the school can receive funds beginning Nov. 6.

Share this story
COMMENT

Leave A Reply

Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. He additionally worked with an investigative news organization where he reported on environmental topics and was a featured writer for Epicast Network, a Pittsburgh podcast company. Iain has now transitioned full-time into covering Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.
Back to top