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 CAB Finds $1.2 Million in Leftover Funds

September 17, 2008 - A routine review of the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation’s finances brought to light a pleasing, if somewhat puzzling, fact recently.

According to CAB school board Vice President Steve Dalton, the school system still has $1.2 million remaining in the Knightstown High School building corporation, which was formed to undertake construction of the new facility.

“Those funds were raised and are earmarked for the school building project,” he said. “But, the administration at that time went ahead and signed off on the new high school’s completion and left $1.2 million just hanging out there.” CAB’s superintendent at that time was Hal Jester.

Since the money was earmarked specifically for the building project, but never utilized, Dalton said he believes the funds could be used to build additional facilities at KHS. “As it stands now, the money can only be applied to the final bond and loan fund payments 22 years from now, when they come due,” he said.

Dalton added that he was unsure why former administrators would leave such a large sum in the school building fund, especially after signing off on the structure’s completion. “It’s obviously some kind of mistake,” he said.

As the school corporation prepares to refinance bonds sold to finance the new school’s construction, it may also be able to reactivate the $1.2 million and employ it for additional construction at KHS.

“Once they closed the deal by signing the certificate of completion, that money was locked away in an account and could no longer be used to finish the high school. Unless, we do what we’re getting ready to now, and that’s bond refinancing,” Dalton said.

If CAB is able to utilize the money, Dalton said one option is to finish building athletic facilities at KHS. “We raised the money with the intent of completing the high school,” he explained. “It is my intent to look at that as one of the options for this money.

“There’s a general consensus that our facilities are sub par,” he continued. “I have concerns about athletes driving across town to practice. I also think we’ll have a problem competing for students, drawing them in to CAB, both athletically and academically. I don’t think we can afford to not be able to compete and offer our students the best possible educational experience possible, both in terms of academics and athletics.”

Although new construction may be considered as one of several options for the money, Dalton said under no circumstances will additional taxes be levied to finance such construction. Bond refinancing, he said, could provide some additional building funds, should the school corporation take that route.

“Basically, we’ve got potential savings here,” he told The Banner, regarding to bond refinancing. “The bottom line is this: we’re trying to be good stewards of the tax money we’re receiving. We owe the community that service.”


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