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St. Vrain Valley School District sells last round of bonds for construction projects
By Amy Bounds, Times Call
The St. Vrain Valley School District recently sold its second and last round of bonds from its $260 million capital construction bond issue.
The bond issue, approved by voters in 2016, is paying for both new buildings and additions and improvements to existing schools.
St. Vrain sold $60.34 million in bonds with a repayment period of five years instead of the originally planned 14-year schedule, saving taxpayers more than $12 million in interest, said Greg Fieth, chief financial officer.
Before the bonds were sold, Standard and Poor's upgraded the district's credit rating from "AA" to "AA-plus." Fieth said that helped the district secure low interest rates, between 1.72 percent to 2.21 percent.
The net interest cost for the full bond issue is 3.57 percent.
Including the sale of the initial $200 million of bonds in December 2016, the total principal and interest to be repaid is more than $21 million less than the amount approved by voters, according to district officials.
The district has completed about 65 percent of its planned projects.
"Two years later, it's really had a huge impact on the educational environment," said Brian Lamer, assistant superintendent of operations.
Completed projects include a new districtwide Innovation Center in south Longmont, the new Soaring Heights pre-K-8 school in Erie and the new Grand View Elementary school in Frederick's Wyndham Hill neighborhood.
All three opened in August.
Erie High School also has a 20-classroom addition, new track and parking lot expansion, while Mead High has a 20-classroom addition and site and bleacher upgrades.
Other schools have smaller additions, renovation work and new secure entrances. The district also completed about 70 percent of its security camera installations at elementary schools.
The district has about $90 million left to spend.
The biggest project that wasn't included in the first round is a third new elementary school. The district plans to build that school in either the Carbon Valley or Erie, depending on growth.
Other upcoming projects include additions at Mead Elementary, Mead Middle, Longmont High and Frederick High. Niwot High also will see major reconstruction inside the building.
Already started work at Skyline High, which includes adding classrooms, is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019.