Thursday, December 6, 2018

Design Committee Meets

The first Design Committee meeting took place on Dec. 4 at ToledoTel. About a dozen people were in attendance. I reported on many of the things I've written about here as well as answering questions about the process and progress we've made so far. I also shared a Google drive folder where I'll be uploading documents relevant to our project. If you're interested, you can view it here:

What's there now is information from an architectural firm that is interested in our project. They've given us samples of other school's educational specifications as well as a copy of  the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI's) School Facilities Manual. The manual is a 200-page document that lists all of the  required portions needed in order to claim School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP) funding. It also has information about educational specifications and answers many of the questions about capital projects that come up.

The Design Committee is chaired by Dale Merten and is intended to be a self-selected representative group of community members who will take on the work of guiding designers of the new school. The committee's work is to make recommendations to the board of directors relative to what the new school will be. If you would like to be part of this important committee, please contact Dale at ToledoTel  (360.864.4552) during regular business hours.

The next meeting of the Design Committee will be at 6 p.m. at Toledo High School on Dec. 19. It will be at this meeting that the committee will review the Statements of Qualification (SOQs) submitted by Construction Management firms. The committee will score the SOQs and (hopefully) be able to recommend 2-3 firms for interview with the board at a later time. Interviews will be at an open meeting. Once the board has selected a firm, I'll begin negotiations with them for their services and fees.

On January 10 at 6 p.m. at THS, there will be a community meeting for two purposes:

  1. Visioning for the new THS
  2. Presentation of the replacement Educational Programs and Operations levy

This will be the community's first (but not only) opportunity to make their desires known for the new school and for the design committee to begin collecting information to use in guiding our designers. Following that activity, I'll be presenting the levy proposition that will be on the February ballot. Bonds can only be used for capital improvements and this bond can only be used to build a new high school. Levies are used to pay for things that are underfunded for our system or are not funded at all. I'll be sharing the details of the plan recently approved by OSPI along with an explanation of how taxes will be reduced significantly by this new levy.

Moody's recently gave Toledo School District an underlying bond rating of A2 which will be very attractive to investors according to our underwriter. All documents related to the bond have been filed and we're ready for sale on Dec. 12. Brad Dykstra and I will be at Piper Jaffray in Seattle on the 12th to observe the progress of the sale. If the terms are favorable, we'll complete document signatures that day and funds will be deposited in our Capital Projects fund by Dec. 27. With a strong rating like A2, we may have terms favorable enough to reduce the term of the bond below 20 years. We won't know until the 12th.

Our underwriter congratulated the board for its fiscal management citing long-range planning and the district's strong financial footing as key factors in achieving the A2 rating.

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