New Kensington-Arnold School Board expects to cut costs with bond refinancing
By Liz Hayes
Published: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The New Kensington-Arnold School Board will refinance some existing bonds to save money but decided not to add debt.
The board on Wednesday agreed to refinance $6 million in bonds that were issued in 2008.
Chris Brewer, the district's bond counsel from the firm Dinsmore & Shohl, said the district is expected to save about $500,000 this school year and $100,000 next school year. After that, annual debt service will remain the same at about $2 million per year.
The savings stems from refinancing at lower interest rates, which Brewer said are expected to begin rising soon.
The district's investment banker, Joseph Muscatello from the firm Boenning & Scattergood, also had run estimates in case the board chose to package the refinanced bonds with new debt.
He'd projected the district would pay an additional $60,000 per year if it borrowed another $2 million. Annual debt payments would increase by about $116,000 if the district borrowed $3.5 million.
Superintendent John Pallone said board members opted to avoid assuming new debt because they don't think they'll need it for the capital projects they have planned.
The board agreed to seek bids or quotes from contractors for more than a dozen facility improvements, including:
• Repairing the tennis courts; reconditioning the ball fields; replacing a gym dividing curtain; replacing shower valves in high school locker rooms; replacing high school stage curtains.
• Extending the warranty on the middle school roof; repairing concrete throughout the district; repairing asphalt at Martin and Greenwald elementary schools; repointing stones at Martin Elementary, H.D. Berkey Intermediate and Valley Middle schools; replacing doors at H.D. Berkey and Valley middle schools.
• Recommissioning the energy management system at Valley High, Fort Crawford and Martin schools; reconfiguring outdoor lights at Valley High, Martin and H.D. Berkey schools; making additional outdoor lighting changes to improve energy efficiency.
Pallone said they expect all of those projects will total less than $500,000.
The board hopes the savings from the refinancing will cover the projects' costs.
Pallone said the district also is considering other capital projects, such as replacing the outdated phone system.
The board approved an amended contract with its telephone service provider, Consolidated Communications, to upgrade service at a cost of $1,800 per month. That's an increase of less than $100 per month.
Pallone said the district plans to switch over to an Internet-based phone system. The district is awaiting bids from contractors to replace all of the buildings' classroom and office phone equipment.
Not only are the changes expected to improve landline service, but Pallone said they will upgrade the public-address system and provide an application that will allow “smart” cellphones to tap into the phone system. The latter will be especially advantageous on the high school property, where there is limited cellphone reception.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- West Deer man accused of sexual contact with pre-teen ordered to trial
- Oakmont overcomes sticking points, passes budget with no tax increase
- Buffalo Township real estate taxes to rise by almost 30%
- Leechburg fifth-grader’s art chosen for cover of anti-drug calendar
- Oakmont addresses Plum Creek flooding
- East Deer blames 13% tax increase on assessment appeal losses
- South Butler hires company to perform security audit of buildings, train staff
- Arnold, New Kensington residents whose water service is shut off may have additional charges
- Education Partnership provides school supplies to Fort Crawford students in New Kensington
- Questions on police shakeup go unanswered in Gilpin
- Oakmont man, 36, reported missing