Aiken school board reviews bond plan

Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 6:36 AM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 10:37 AM
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AIKEN -- The Aiken County School Board got its formal introduction Tuesday into bond referendum formalities as financial representatives laid out scenarios the board could follow if it used a referendum to fund the capital campaign they are currently drafting.

Representatives with Ross, Sinclaire and Associates and McNair Law Firm said the school district would need at least 75 to 90 days to file paperwork and give public notice of a bond referendum.

The school board is in the middle of researching facility and program needs to create a capital campaign. The district administration has recommended issuing a bond to pay for any new school buildings and remodels since the district’s needs exceed the $15 million available each year for buildings and maintenance.

Although the school board hasn’t decided to issue a bond, it was recommended by both firms that the board look at bonding programs available with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will expire in 2010. The firms also estimated that if the school district issued a bond worth $150 million, a property owner with a $100,000 home could expect a $38 increase on their annual tax bill.

Deputy Superintendent David Caver also presented the school board with recommendation in facility and program needs from more than 230 people surveyed in the district.

Ideas included the media center as the hub of each school, versatility in space so desks aren’t just in rows, and space to support literacy and career cluster models.

The school district will use the ideas next Tuesday when it meets for a brainstorming session. The meeting 7 p.m. meeting will be held at 1000 Brookhaven Drive.

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