BGCS will see $13M in savings from lower interest rate for new high school


Bowling Green taxpayers will see a savings of roughly $13 million on new construction interest payments.

Treasurer Cathy Schuller reported at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting that 5.25% was the estimated interest rate used to calculate the bond millage prior to going on the ballot in November, but on the day of the sale the interest rates in the market averaged 4.07%, which will save taxpayers roughly $13 million in interest over the 30-year term of the bonds.

The reduced interest rate also reduced the estimated ballot millage of 5.55 mills down to roughly 4.3 mills, subject to future values, Schuller said.

She said there was a record number of Wall Street investors looking at Bowling Green City Schools.

“It’s incredible to have that kind of interest in the Bowling Green district,” she said.

At the end of January, the district learned its bond rating with Moody’s Investment Services was Aa3.

The bonds went to market last week “and there was a lot of interest and orders,” said Superintendent Ted Haselman.

The board also agreed to solicit statements of qualifications for construction management services.

Once the Ohio Schools Construction Commission approves the district’s submission, the board can move forward and enter into a contract with a construction manager.

“This will allow the board to actively seek a (construction manager) to oversee the entire build of the new high school,” Haselman said.

Board member Ryan Myers said he has had a lot of people ask him why the delay in breaking ground for the new school.

“This is why. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on,” he said.

“Just because you don’t see a building going up yet, we are taking many steps towards breaking ground,” said board President Tracy Hovest.

The district also needs to move a practice facility in order to make room for the new high school.

The board agreed to dispense with the usual bidding process due to the urgency of the project.

“We need to make sure we get this field installed in a timely manner so that we’re not holding up construction or let our student athletes do without,” Haselman said.

The district will go through a bid process for the work, just more quickly, he said.

Architects with DLR Group have advised administrators of the urgency of the relocation in order to not impact the building project and for the new field to be completed in time for fall sports.

The practice area, located south of the football stadium, is the location of the geothermal for the new high school and a parking lot.

The practice area will be moved to the north side of the middle school driveway off Fairview Avenue next to the softball field.

The board also approved the 2024-25 and 2025-26 district calendars.

Opening day this fall for students grades 1-9 will be Aug. 20 with remaining grades starting on Aug. 21. Winter break will be from Dec. 23-Jan. 3, 2025, and spring break will be from March 31-April 4, 2025.

Students will get a three-day weekend over Easter; April 18, 2025, is a non-school day.

Hovest asked why spring break can’t be planned around Easter.

Haselman pointed out Easter moves on the calendar and there is a window when spring tests can be administrated.

“Based upon when the Easter holiday is and when state tests are could determine when we have those five days for break,” he said.

Parent/teacher conferences this fall also have been scheduled for the evening of Oct. 31, which is Halloween, Hovest said.

Haselman said it was overlooked and the conference schedule can be adjusted.

Graduation for the Class of 2025 will be May 25 and the last day for classes grades PK-11 will be May 30, 2025.

In 2025-26, opening for students grades 1-9 will be Aug. 20, 2025, with remaining grades starting on Aug. 22, 2025. Winter break will be from Dec. 22-Jan. 3, 2026, and spring break will be from March 30-April 3, 2026. Easter falls on April 4, 2026.) Graduation will be May 24, 2026, and the last day for classes grades PK-11 will be May 29, 2026.

Hovest also wanted to know why students return to school after Memorial Day.

The collective bargaining agreement with the union is specific on when school starts, Haselman said.

Based on the first day of school, students need to be in session for 176 days, he said.

If any of those days fall after Memorial Day, classes will be held, he said.

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