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Deer Lakes directors ponder financing options

| Tuesday, July 29, 2008

School district officials will be looking at a way to level its bond payments for the $38 million high school renovation.

Because of fluctuating interest rates and uncertainty in the credit markets, Helen Billak of Raymond James and Associates presented a plan to the board Monday night to finance $10 million of the renovation now and $28 million in November or December when the markets could be more stabilized.

Under the plan, the district would begin making payments on the 30-year bond April 1.

The board is scheduled to act on the proposal Aug. 18.

In a related matter, the board selected Boenning & Scattergood and Raymond James to be the district's investment bankers. Patrick Healy of Cohen & Grigsby will be the bond counselor and Anthony Ditka of Dinsmore Shols is underwriters' counsel.

In other business:

• The board will conduct meetings for the foreseeable future at the Curtisville Primary School because of the high school renovation.

• By a 7-0 vote, James D. Pearson was hired as middle school assistant principal at a salary of $72,000.

• These teachers were hired: Ron Nichols, health and physical education at an annual salary of $43,981; Miklean Holtz, life skills teacher at East Union Intermediate at $41,000; Annette Trnavsky, learning support teacher at East Union at $41,700; Christina Baufort, library science at the middle school at $41,700; April Whitbred, learning support teacher at the high school at $41,200.

• Contracting bills totalling nearly $37,000 was paid for the bus garage project on the middle school grounds, virtually completing the project.

• Adult passes to fall and winter sports will cost $35 -- which includes a slight discount from the gate price.

"This could encourage more parents and more adults to come to more activities than they normally would," said acting Superintendent Mark King. Officials said the price is a savings of about $1 per event.

Student passes will cost $10.

• The district's Wide Area Internet Network upgrade, currently at $4,000 monthly for 100 Mbps, will increase to $9,000 monthly for 1 Gbps -- a tenfold increase in speed -- starting in February. Each month until February, the board approved a 4 Mbps system at $1,165 per month.

The network is part of system that links school computers countywide.

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