LISD estimates cost for new high school at $60M
Polk County Enterprise - February 2008
LIVINGSTON — Trustees scrutinized preliminary plans from architect Kevin Smith for a 302,463-square-foot high school campus during a special called meeting Tuesday.
The project outline has an estimated cost of $167 per square-foot for a total cost of just under $60 million, according to reports distributed to trustees during the meeting. Trustees are seeking to build a campus with adequate facilities to handle 1,600 students.
The project plans focus on common core areas such as cafeteria, parking, hallways and other areas that are used by the entire student body to ensure that the district can handle anticipated growth for the next 20 years.
Advisers emphasized that the bond election will affect the 2008 tax rate, so taxpayers 65 and over will not see their tax bills increase as a result of the bond election.
In fact, the bond package would only raise tax rates to 2006 levels of $1.42 per $100 in value, district officials added.
Recent property tax cuts have lowered rates to $1.11 for the 2007 fiscal year.
Taxpayers over age 65 saw a tax reduction in this year’s bill on their homesteads after the passge of Senate Joint Resolution 13 passed by the Texas Legislature on May 12, 2007 which won voter approval.
Financial advisers pegged bond rates at 4.39 percent based on recent bond market activity.
Livingston ISD currently carries a bond rating of A, but will be able to take advantage of the higher rating, AAA, held by the Texas Permanent School Fund.
If voters approve the bond package, advisers recommended a 30-year payoff with calls every 10 years that could allow the district to pay off the bonds early or refinance the debt.
For further details on the proposed high school see Sunday’s edition.