Pike BOE looks at capital projects

Published 6:36 am Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Superintendent Dr. Mark Bazzell says it’s time for the Pike County Schools to consider some much-needed capital improvement projects.

Bazzell said Monday he planned to present a capital improvement plan to school board members that evening. “We’ll look at it and, depending on the feedback and discussion, this is something we could possibly move on in November.”

Bazzell said the district could consider refinancing its debt and borrowing an additional $3million to $3.5 million to spend on capital improvement projects. Those proceeds, along with a $2 million set aside from a 2007 state bond issue, would give the district more than $5 million to spend on much-needed project.

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“We’ve had that (state bond money) sitting there for some time because it really wasn’t the right time to undertake capital improvement projects,” Bazzell said. “I wasn’t comfortable recommending it until we got into a position where it would work and we had more economic stability. …

“Now, we have more confidence with everything looking more positive.”

The plans is in its “very early” stages, Bazzell said. But early recommendations would include the addition of a gymnasium and athletic field house at Goshen High School; the addition of an athletic facility at Pike County High School and a band room/art center; and much-needed renovations at all the campuses on such things as windows and roofs.

“We need feedback from the board members and we need to study the numbers,” he said. “But it’s something we’re ready to discuss.”

Bazzell said the district has seen growth it its sales tax revenues – approximately 6 percent over the previous year – and that combined with savings of capital improvement funds during the past three years put the district in a stronger financial position.

“Our debt service is less than 2 percent of our total budget,” he said. “We’re looking at a $120,000 increase (in debt service) on a $23 million (annual) budget. I certainly think it’s doable.”