Decennial bond sale in planning stage

Plans for upgraded facilities with revenue

Scarlett Lestina, Managing Editor

Every decade, LT hosts a bond sale to raise money that is used to upgrade the school. The last sale took place in January of 2014 and is in the planning stages right now as the sale is approaching in January of 2024.

A bond sale is essentially borrowing money,  Director of Business Services Brian Stachacz said. The district will sell bonds to creditors made up of people in the community, banks, corporations, other school districts, or anyone interested in investing in the school. The district will pay back the creditors over a 10 year span twice a year in June and December. Each payment will include an interest payment as well as a principal payment in December until the 10 years is up and all the money is paid back.

“With that money, the district runs capital projects: building renovations, additions,” Stachacz said. “In 2014, two of the major projects were the renovations of the NC cafeteria and the Reber Center.”

The district typically sells bonds totaling $20-25 million and will pay back all creditors fully plus interest determined at the time of the sale, Stachacz said. They borrowed $21 million in 2014, and over the course of 10 years paid back $25.113 million averaging a 4% interest rate.

“The bond sale is necessary because it provides a large sum of money to the district at one time for projects,” Stachacz said. “It provides us this one time infusion of cash of $20-25 million so that we can get a large number of projects done at this one localized time period.”

While the bond sale has not been officially announced yet, there will be discussion of finance and scheduling at the June 5 Committee of the Whole meeting. The board would then either approve or deny the plan to sell up to $25 million worth of bonds, Stachacz said. 

After its approval, an announcement would be published in the local newspaper during the petition period with a public hearing at a board meeting, most likely in September. The proposal’s parameters and resolution would be approved again by the board and then a rating meeting with Standard and Poor’s would determine LT’s bond rating. Ultimately, the bonds would be sold and LT would receive the proceeds. 

“The district has a triple-A rating, which is the highest that you can receive,” Stachacz said. “The plan is to keep it that way for the next sale.”

The board has had discussions of how to spend the proceeds from the sale, Superintendent Brian Waterman said. Feedback from students, teachers, and community members has identified that some of the most important ways to spend the money raised is on the SC cafeteria, modernizing classrooms, upgrades to restrooms and athletic facilities, and improvements to the AC and accessibility. 

The improvements align with goal five of the Strategic Planning Committee, which is working towards “allocating necessary resources to maximize educational success for all students,” according to the LTHS website.

“I’m excited about the potential improvements to our SC cafeteria and collaborative spaces, and the potential improvements to the modernization of classrooms [at NC],” Waterman said. “I’m excited about the potential upgrades to restrooms, which is a priority. I’m excited about continuing to add air conditioning, which is also something that has been a high priority over the last several years.”

The renovations are set to take place in the summer of 2024, but will not be done all in one summer, Waterman said.

“The summer of 2024 seems so far away, but to us it seems like tomorrow,” Waterman said. “We are working now to get these projects in place.”