Board adopts bond authority
Board adopts bond authority
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – The Hope Public Schools Board adopted a resolution Monday which set the terms and conditions of its financing for the expansion of the Beryl Henry Elementary School campus at a savings of more than $800,000.

Jason Holsclaw, vice president of public finance for Stephens, Inc., in Little Rock, presented a memorandum of sale and a bond resolution to the board in called session Monday morning, which the board adopted unanimously.

Newly-appointed Zone 2 Board Member David “Bubba” Powers participated in his first board session.

Holsclaw said the sale of the $6 million in refinanced series 2009/2012 bonds was completed at an interest rate of 3.10 percent, compared to the original 3.83 percent estimate.

“The district is going to save about $814,000 as a result of the bond sale,” he said.

Holsclaw said the bulk of the savings will be realized within the first year of the bond issue.

The issue is structured to pay off some $2 million in series 2009 bonds and refinance about $4 in series 2012 bonds. The savings stems from lower interest rates, and the ability to retire the bonds in 2041.

The bonds will pay for construction of some 25,000-square feet of new academic and multi-purpose space at BHE, currently nearing completion, and roof replacements and repairs at Clinton Primary School and Hope High School.

Holsclaw said a recent change in state law allows the district to use the funds derived from the bond sale for more than academic purposes.

“Arkansas law actually required you to use the savings for academics; that is no longer required,” he said. “It’s your money, and you can use it however you want.”

But, Holsclaw said state law still places a restriction upon private uses of bond-financed property or infrastructure.

“Some school districts have advertising on their school buses,” he said. “That would not be allowed if they were paid from bond proceeds.”

Also Monday, the board addressed year-end personnel matters including:

--Certified hires of Deadra Caesar-Simington, Yerger Middle School science; and Melissa Qualls, YMS math.

--Resignations of Mike Miller, Hope High School math; Sid Barker, HHS band; Alan Adcock, YMS band; and Brandi Miller, ALE at Yerger.