The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

October 25, 2012

School board looks at bond issue for renovations

DANVILLE — The Danville School District 118 board heard a presentation Wednesday from a bond adviser about bond alternatives for the East Park Elementary School renovation project.

In April 2011, $21.5 million in bonds were issued to cover the renovations at South View and North Ridge middle schools with the understanding that a smaller bond issuance would be needed for the East Park project.

East Park, formerly was a junior high school until the 1980s, is the third and final school to be improved in the district’s three-year renovation project. South View Middle School was renovated in 2010-2011, and work at North Ridge Middle School is on schedule with completion expected in mid-December.

All three facilities originally were constructed as junior high schools in 1961.

The renovation projects were budgeted in such a way as to not affect the local school tax rate, but East Park is the last and the largest of the three schools to be improved, and the money that is available will dictate how much will be renovated at East Park.

Bond adviser Anne Noble of Stifel Nicolaus investment banking told board members the original plan was to fund $8.5 million for the East Park project, however, the equalized assessed valuation in the district has dropped by 18 percent in the last four years, which affects how much tax the district can levy to support the bond issuance without raising the tax rate.

“Your EAV hasn’t done what we expected it would do,” Noble said. “We’re down about 18 percent during a period where we thought the EAV would be flat.

“It affects all operating dollars to the district,” she said.

This year, the owner of a home valued at $66,500 and who was taxed 58 cents per $100 EAV paid $93.52 toward the bond issuance for the South View and North Ridge middle schools renovations.

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