BOE to seek $7M bond

Published 1:36 am Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Andalusia Superintendent of Education Ted Watson is expected to present the city council with a letter requesting the city secure a 25-year, $7 million bond issue for construction projects at Andalusia High School.

Last week, the board approved a $9.3 million contract with Wyatt Sasser Construction for renovations at the stadium and auditorium. The contract represents a base bid. If all of the proposed project is done, it is expected to cost $12.245 million.

The board has set aside $500,000 of its proceeds from a city-wide education sales tax in fiscal years 2016, 2017 and 2018. Rep. Mike Jones has secured $1.25 million in state funds, and the Public Education Building Authority has raised a minimum of $500,000 in private monies for the project.

With a $7 million bond, the system has $10.25 million for the project. The remaining estimated $1.99 million will be taken from reserve funds.

State law requires school systems to keep at least one month’s operating funds in reserve. At present, the city system has 4.45 months’ operating funds in reserve. If the estimated amount of reserve funds is needed to complete the project, the board would still have 2.67 months’ reserve.

Board members agreed they want to do the entire proposed project – which includes moving the football field and using artificial turf. However, they are concerned the project costs will run over, and want to keep the price tag at $12.24 million.