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Valley News Dispatch

Highlands considers borrowing $800K to pay for building work

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 1:30 p.m.
Work continues on a new elevator at Grandview Upper Elementary School in Tarentum on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Work continues on a new elevator at Grandview Upper Elementary School in Tarentum on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
Grandview Upper Elementary School, Tarentum.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Grandview Upper Elementary School, Tarentum.

The Highlands School District may borrow up to $800,000 to pay for work on the district's schools.

The district would be paying itself back for money spent on a new elevator at Grandview Upper Elementary School in Tarentum, and for a new roof at Fawn Primary Center.

Work on the $350,000 elevator at Grandview is underway.

The school board named Janney Montgomery Scott as managing underwriter and Dinsmore & Shohl as bond counsel to handle the issuance and sale of bonds. The district already works with those firms.

District Solicitor Lisa Colautti said the district is not committed to borrowing money.

“It doesn't bind them to anything,” she said. “It's the district keeping its financial options open.”

School board President Debbie Beale said the board agreed that projects such as the Grandview elevator should be paid for over time.

“When you do projects like that, we all felt it was a better way to do it,” she said. “The district has an excellent credit rating. It makes more sense to spread a project like that over time than cut a check.”

Other capital projects across the district could be paid for with money from a borrowing, Colautti said.

Beale said the school board did roof-to-basement inspections of the district's schools over the past two years and has prioritized the maintenance needs at each.

“We have visited every building,” she said. “We really did a thorough walk-through.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or on Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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