Bond Project Updates
May 4th, 2017
BCISD junior high new building plans approved
The Bay City ISD Board of Trustees voted to approve the new Bay City Junior High architectural renderings presented by Claycomb Associates, Architects at a special called meeting May 2nd.
With the design and development phase finishing up and the designs approved, the process now moves to the construction documents phase. This part of the process is expected to take five to six months.
The tentative timeline then has the project going out for bid in October or November, with BCJH construction beginning around Thanksgiving.
Baseball field construction is tentatively planned to begin in October, in order to be ready for baseball season in early 2018. Baseball field construction will begin before the junior high as the current baseball field is being utilized as part of the new BCJH site plan.
Elementary projects are still being considered by board members and BCISD staff.
“I suggested to Board President Bob Klepac, and he agreed, that we need to include a few public meetings regarding the elementary projects. Those should be happening soon, and we will keep folks informed about those dates and times,” said BCISD Interim Superintendent Mark Pool.
BCISD receives second opinion on bond financing
At the regular monthly board meeting March 21st, The Bay City ISD Board of Trustees heard a presentation by Lewis Wilks of U.S. Capital Advisors on bond financing alternatives.
The presentation was provided as a second opinion to compare to the bond proceed projections presented by Terrell Palmer of First Southwest, BCISD’s long-time financial advisor.
The trustees learned that expected proceeds from the sale of bonds will be approximately $97.5 million with a 40-year payback period. Other alternatives projected $85.5 to $87.2 million with a 30.5-year payback period. The variation in the bond sale proceed figures is affected by interest rates, the BCISD tax collection rate, bond payback period, and BCISD tax values.
The original bond projection used 2015 BCISD taxable values, but those values dropped in 2016, negatively impacting the total dollars accessible via bond sales.
Additionally, original projections used net taxable totals instead of freeze-adjusted net taxable totals.
“It’s a good thing we figured this out before we turned a shovel of dirt,” said BCISD Interim Superintendent Mark Pool. “We don’t have to rush the bond project and can pause and re-think things.”
BCISD continues to move forward with the Bay City Junior High project, baseball field and softball field improvements. “We’ve been tweaking the Bay City Junior High plans and finding cost-savings there,” said Pool. “Currently we have about 800 students at BCJH, so we are looking at revising the plan to build a 1200 student junior high school to one that is more in line with the historical enrollment of that campus.” BCISD’s enrollment has steadily declined since the 1980’s.
Cost-savings have also been identified for the new baseball field.
“The voters authorized selling $124 million in bonds, but the board can sell bonds as they need the money, depending on the project that we’re working on,” explained Pool. “That way we won’t be paying interest on money we aren’t yet using.”
Board President Bob Klepac said that meetings since the bond election have been with the building committee, faculty, staff, administration and architects to get input on how the projects should be designed and equipped. “Make no mistake – this whole project will be completed with the taxpayers, students, faculty, administrators and community in mind.”
The tentative timeline is that bonds will go out for sale in May, with sales closing in August. Once the bond sale proceeds are in the bank, then baseball field construction will begin in late summer or early fall. Bay City Junior High construction is projected to begin in mid-fall. The baseball field construction is slated first as the current field will be utilized as part of the new BCJH complex.
The board will continue to explore options regarding the elementary projects and stadium, but no decisions have been made.
March 19, 2017
From Interim Superintendent Mark Pool
I would like to have gotten this information to you before Spring Break, but because of incomplete information, timing, and the need to inform the Board of Trustees at a special meeting on Monday, March 13, I have waited until now.
Based upon the best information they had available to them, the Board made the decision last year to ask the voters to approve a $124 million bond program. The Board thought at the time that they only had the ability to issue $111 million but anticipated that as taxable values grew in the future the district could issue the additional $13 million.
The week before Spring Break I learned that the Board was given incomplete or misinformation when they were planning for the bond election and that the amount of bonds that could actually be issued at this time were significantly less than $111 million. To make sure that is actually the case, the Board asked me to secure a second opinion from another Financial Advisor. The "second opinion" will be presented to the Board of Trustees at their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 21.
In the meantime, the scheduled meetings for the district's architects to receive input from the faculty and staff at Holmes and Roberts Elementary Schools were temporarily suspended while the board's bond committee met with the architects to discuss the new financial information and begin discussions on possible alternative construction plans.
To be totally upfront with everyone, one of the options that was discussed would combine Holmes and Roberts Elementary Schools on one campus (possibly at the McAllister site) to serve grades 1-5. The concept would actually be two schools within a school with grades 1-2 in one "house" and grades 3-5 in the other. All common functions (food service, administration, library, health services, etc.) would be centrally located. This could be done at a significant cost savings in construction costs and future operational costs as opposed to building and operating two new elementary schools on the current Holmes and Roberts sites. PK and K would be served in a true primary school on the Cherry Elementary campus.
Again, in an effort to be totally transparent, no decisions have been made. This is simply a concept that is being discussed in an effort for the Board to meet the priorities of the bond program with the funds available. The idea of one large elementary school is one that the district's architects have designed and one that is being used in a number of districts.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns; and I will be providing you with updated information as it becomes available.
Bay City ISD Interim Superintendent
March 15, 2017
At a special called meeting on March 13th, the Bay City ISD Board of Trustees voted to engage USCA (U.S. Capital Advisors) Municipal Advisors LLC, for financial advisory services.
Trustees are seeking a second opinion on the original calculation of estimated bond proceeds based on the BCISD tax rate approved by voters in the November 2016 bond election.
In seeking the second opinion, the trustees want analyzed the tax values, tax collection rate, and bond payback period figures used in the bond proceeds calculation before moving forward on the elementary projects.
The Board heard a presentation from Claycomb Associates, Architects and reviewed several budgeting options for the elementary campus projects. However, until the second opinion is received this month with its calculation of estimated bond proceeds, the board will wait to make further decisions on the elementary projects.
Board of Trustees Vice President Bobby Kimball said the board is taking a conservative approach to meet all the Bond 2016 Steering Committee's priorities.
Interim Superintendent Mark Pool added, "The board members have acted in good faith based on the best information available to them at the time. I agree that the prudent thing to do is to seek another opinion on the bond financing numbers before developing design schematics for the elementary projects."
Meanwhile, the Bay City Junior High project, new baseball field and softball improvements continue to move forward and are in the design development phase.
March 3, 2017
BAY CITY ISD BOND PROJECTS MOVE FORWARD
At a special called meeting on February 28th, the Bay City ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the schematic design of the new junior high campus, high school baseball field and softball field improvements.
Schematic design is the initial definition of a project based on meetings between the architects and the district’s Building Committee, junior high staff, and administration. The purpose of schematic design is to define the general scope and concept of the project including scale and relationships between building components.
The Board heard a presentation from Claycomb Associates, Architects and reviewed a site plan, floor plans, and exterior renderings for the new junior high campus as well as the new baseball field and softball batting cages at the high school campus.
The Board approved the schematic design as presented by a vote of 7-0.
Specific feedback from the board regarding the plan included: modifying the parent drop off drive, including an office for a school resource officer, extending covered canopies at the parent drop off drive, and possibly adding an office for a social worker. Trustees also asked for additional options to consider for the campus’ exterior design.
With board approval, the architects can move to the next step of the process, called design development. Design development focuses on refining the interior spaces and incorporating board feedback from the schematic design presentation. A design development presentation for these projects is expected later this month.
With the initial design approved for the junior high, work on the elementary designs will begin next week. Architects will meet with elementary staff and administrators through a series of design charrette meetings to get input on the design of each of the elementary school projects.
Architects -- Claycomb Associates, Architects
Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) -- Weaver and Jacobs
Geo-Technical Engineers -- T.S.I Laboratories, Inc.