The Butler Area School District will borrow nearly $10 million to facilitate several capital projects.
Several school board members pointed out the lack of a viable alternative as they voted unanimously on Monday night to give approval for bond council to move ahead with the sale.
According to Superintendent Dr. Brian White, the district needs to make these repairs in order to keep students “safe, warm and dry.”
The repairs include replacing the roof at Center Township, Connoquenessing, Emily Brittain and Center Avenue elementary schools, as well as on a couple of buildings on the Sr. High School campus. The swimming pool and the stadium turf at the Sr. High also need replaced. Road repairs are need at both the Intermediate and Sr. High Schools.
All money borrowed must be spent within three years from when it is borrowed.
The board has received four responses in their request for proposal from companies to provide architectural services for these projects. That company will help district administrators figure out priorities and a timeline for the projects. The school board is expected to make a decision on awarding that contract at their December meeting.
The school board was also informed that the district’s bond rating was recently downgraded one level from A+ to A by S & P Global Ratings due to spending from the general fund the past few years. Butler has also been placed on a “negative outlook watch list,” which could affect borrowing in the future. The only way off that list is to demonstrate a trend of not needing to spend money from the general fund to balance a budget.
Repayment of this most recent borrowed money will be folded into previous bond repayments already being made by the district that will be refinanced to a lower rate in June.
The sale is expected to take place later this week with an actual closing anticipated in late December.