Following a presentation of preliminary concepts of possible long-term updates to the high school Thursday night, the D200 board looked at six ways it could finance a project with a $50 million price tag, and what it could mean for the district's fund balance, bonding authority and taxpayers over 20 years.
(Note: Because concepts and cost estimates are so preliminary, the $50 million example was used to provide a broad example of financing options to the board.)
Elizabeth Hennessy, principal at William Blair, noted to the board the presentation was for informational purposes, and not reflective of anything specific to the project.
Hennessy said with its AAA Moody's rating, OPRF will be in a good position to issue bonds, as interest rates can range from .02 percent to .24 percent—or a difference of about $893,250 for a 20-year issue—for AAA versus AA bonds.
Three options review the use of a combination of limited tax bonds and funds on hand in April of 2014 for projects to start next summer, and three options review use of referendum bonds in March of 2013 and funds on hand for projects starting next summer.
The preliminary operating budget for FY2014 is about $111.25 million, leaving the district with a fund balance of 185.5 percent.
Non-referendum optionsOption I: Max limited bonds and funds on hand
The district could issue $36.6 million in bonds and pay the remaining $13.4 million of the project with its funds on hand. Because of other debt, the district would have to use funds on hand to offset interest payments until 2016.
This option would tap the district's ability to issue non-referendum bonds for 20 years, and would bring the district's operating funds to about $93.6 million, or a 156 percent fund balance, Hennessy said.
Option II: $30M limited bonds, $20M funds on hand
The district could issue $30 million in limited bonds and use $20 million of its own money. With this option, the district would reduce its annual payments from $3 million to $2 million after 10 years, creating room to issue additional bonds for other projects. This option would drop the district's operating funds to $87.88 million, or a 146.5 percent fund balance.
Option III: $20M limited bonds and $30M funds on hand
With this option, the district would have additional non-referendum bonding authority in 10 years with all debt repaid by the 2024 levy year. The remaining fund balance would be 132 percent, with about $79.24 million in operating funds.
Referendum optionsOption IV: $36.6M referendum bonds, $13.4M funds on hand
This option would result in a fund balance of 163 percent, or about $97.8 million in operating funds. With annual debt service payments of $2.9 million, taxpayers would see an increase. For a homeowner in a $300,000 home, Hennessy said the annual impact would be about $133.
Option V: $30M referendum bonds, $20M funds on hand
This option would result in a fund balance of 152 percent, or about $91.25 million in operating funds. With average debt service payments of about $2.5 million a year, a taxpayer in a $300,000 home would see an increase of about $109.
Option VI: $20M referendum bonds, $30M funds on hand
This option would result in a fund balance of about 135.52 percent, or $81.25 million in operating funds. The annual debt service payments would drop to $1.6 million a year, which would add about $73 to tax bills for those in a $300,000 home.
District 200 Superintendent Dr. Steven Isoye said Thursday the purpose of the presentation was to give the board a "first picture," and that staff was looking for questions that might help refine their research. He said he anticipates the board will discuss facilities and construction of a new pool at several meetings.
Legat Architects has presented two concepts that have been filtered from multiple ideas discussed at the OPRF facilities committee level. One concept would allow teachers to potentially use more than one room, and would cost about $40-46 million. The second concept would allow one room per teacher, and would cost about $35-42 million.