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 CAB School Board OK’s Refinancing Moves

April 29, 2009 - The Charles A. Beard School Board approved more paperwork last week as it moves forward with plans to try to refinance some of the debt incurred when Knightstown High School was built.

At its April 21 monthly meeting, the school board OK’d three resolutions that will allow CAB to proceed with efforts to issue new bonds, a process called “refunding.”

The debt from a 2001 bond issue will be paid off with proceeds from a new bond issue, with lower interest rates expected to result in net savings of at least $100,000. The bond refunding is also expected to give CAB access to $1.265 million that could be used to address facility needs at KHS or Knightstown Intermediate School.

As security for the current outstanding bonds, that money is now being held in a sinking fund and, without the refunding, could only be used to pay off the original bond issue a little early.

A proposed timetable for the refunding process that the board also approved shows a public hearing scheduled for June 2 to consider amending CAB’s current lease with the Knightstown High School Building Corporation. The KHSB, a nonprofit entity formed in 2001 to oversee KHS’s construction and financing, leases the facility to the school corporation while debt is outstanding.

In addition to the $1.265 million from the sinking fund, the bond refunding could also give CAB access to another $800,000 or more, depending on interest rates. To get this money, CAB would need to extend the bond repayment period an extra two years, from the original 2022 due date to 2024.

In other business related to CAB’s buildings, the board approved a resolution hiring Performance Services, Inc., to evaluate facility needs and assist the school corporation with strategic planning. Representatives of the company had previously given the board a presentation on the heating and cooling systems of CAB’s school’s in February.

The board also dealt with several personnel matters, including acceptance of three announced retirements. Carthage Elementary teacher Judy Sadler and two CAB cafeteria workers, Karen Sue Moore and Saundra Thompson, will all retire at the end of this school year.

Superintendent Gary Storie also formally announced to the board the resignations of Business Manager David Bundy and grounds worker Larry White, who will continue to work for CAB as a bus driver. Both resignations had already taken effect by the time of last week’s meeting.

Instead of hiring a new business manager, Bundy’s job responsibilities have been divided up between Storie and other central office staff. To help lighten the load on those taking on more work, Storie recommended, and the board approved, creating a new full-time central office assistant position to help out 11 months out of the year.

Of the 20 people who applied for the new position, which pays $12.54 an hour, Storie said 17 were interviewed and three were called back for second interviews. Acting on Storie’s recommendation, the board approved hiring Phyllis Haines, sister-in-law of Jena Schmidt, Storie’s administrative assistant, as the new central office assistant.

The school board voted to revise its service contract with its attorney, David Day, and Day’s law firm. While CAB had been paying $300 a month to retain the services of Day and his firm, Storie said Day had requested the monthly fee be raised to $500. The revised contract runs through June 30, 2010.

Board approval was given for two field trips, including an overnight trip by the FFA group to Purdue and next fall’s annual eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. In response to a question from board member Wade Beatty, who raised concerns about student safety, Storie said discussions are taking place about whether to cancel a trip to Mexico in June by KHS students.

Storie briefly discussed with the board CAB’s participation in a special education cooperative based in New Castle, and said it may be to CAB’s advantage to pursue other options, on its own or with other school corporations. He told the board members he may ask them at their May meeting to authorize giving the coop the one-year notice required for CAB to drop out.

In other business, the board gave Storie permission to advertise for fuel bids for next school. The board also approved minutes of prior meetings held March 10, 17 and 23, and April 8, and authorized payment of claims totaling $939,104.57.

The CAB School Board will hold a special meeting tonight to continue its strategic planning efforts. The meeting, which is open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. and be held in the media center at Knightstown High School, 8449 W. U.S. Hwy. 40.


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