The Dublin board of trustees is considering calling a bond election for the May election. The possibility is being discussed following an opportunity presented to the district to use up to $5 million in low-interest loans.
The district originally applied for the loans last spring through the Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) program, which lowers the cost of constructing and renovating school facilities. The QSCB grants allow districts to obtain loans with interest rates from 1-1.5 percent.
"Over the life of the bond you can see where one percent is a significant decrease in total cost of construction and in return a corresponding decrease in the tax rate increases," assistant superintendent Rodney Schneider said.
When originally presenting the concept to board members in May, DISD Superintendent Shaun Barnett said upon the awarding of the bonds, 10 percent of the funds received must be spent within six months. The selected project for the bond is also required to be completed within three years of the award date.
Barnett also warned board members that, once approved, the district would have "to go to the people and call for a bond election," because DISD does not "have enough tax base to meet the premium without a bond election."
Barnett originally thought a bond would be required to be called in November. A DISD bond package, however, did not appear on the November ballot, and the school board is now taking into consideration the feasibility of a May bond election.
Last month the school board called for the formation of a committee to recommend whether the district should or should not call for a bond election to address facility needs. The committee is seeking community opinions on the issue and will make recommendations regarding district facilities.
"We want the best for the kids with proper facilities," committee chairman Mac McKinnon said.
The committee is analyzing the financial aspects of the issue, gauging the impact of a tax increase on district taxpayers and considering the necessities required to provide a quality education.
After a committee tour of the Dublin Middle School campus McKinnon said there are "obvious improvements that must be made.".
The committee has had "good discussion" among its 20 to 30 members, McKinnon said.
They will meet once more before presenting their recomendation to the board at its Dec. 13 meeting.