|Aerial update of STEM Project Site (April, 2012)|
One of the transactions, a $34 million LGO Bond sale, raised cash to cover short-term construction needs until the voter-approved "2012-2017 $65 million Capital Levy" dollars can catch up. The second board action raised $25 million from an aging "2006 Eight-Year $436 million Capital Bond." According to Barb Posthumus, district Business Services Manager, a balance of $11 million remains of the original $436 million Bond.
LGO's are "Limited Government Obligation" bonds and are non-voter approved. Read More >>
Superintendent Kimball described it as a stop-gap, construction bridge loan that will eventually be paid back through the existent, 2012 - 2017 Six-Year Capital Levy. When Director Chris Carlson asked for recourse, Kimball answered without the Board's LGO approval "I.C.S. would be delayed 2-3 years." (Remodernization of International Community School (ICS), STEM, RHS, EHS, and the remaining 6-Year Capital Levy projects are managed by HEERY).
Kimball said we committed "to build fast and hard…(and did the same thing with 2006 Bond-funded modernization programs) because of the favorable construction market. For example, said Kimball, at Lake Washington High School we saved $10 million by timing our construction with a favorable bidding climate." He cited $10's of millions of dollar savings by accelerating construction and several millions savings from the levy and refinanced debt.
School Board Director Siri Bleisner asked Kimball for a summary of projected savings and costs associated with his presentation, stating the Notice and deliberations were short and her constituents may have questions. Bleisner took office early this year.
President Jackie Pendergrass said, "We’ve not had one of these LGO's since I've been on the Board." (17 years). She recommended emphasis on the savings and to post district website updates.
Kimball blamed this predicament "on us", saying: "The reason why this happened is because we failed the bond measure in 2010. If we had not failed that bond measure we would not be faced with this situation. This was an emergency situation, to deal with a significant overcrowding problem, and we could be faced with this again if we don't pass a bond measure in 2014," referring to the rising elementary populations in Redmond Ridge and the Einstein area.
Underlying the financial gyrations are two State Auditing Office (SAO) audits, delivered to the Kimball Administration on March 9, 2012, signed by Brian Sontag, State Auditor and released to the public May 21. (See NOTES). How deep is the hole? I've filed with the state for district accountability updates. Comments are welcome.
http://www.lwsd.org/About/School-Board/Board-Meetings/Pages/Board-Meeting-Video.aspx Video-tape of May 21 School Board meeting - skip to construction Bond discussions and approvals
http://www.sao.wa.gov/AuditReports/AuditReportFiles/ar1007756.pdf SAO Accountability Audit, 3/9/12, includes "certain matters" deserving attention.
http://www.sao.wa.gov/AuditReports/AuditReportFiles/ar1007743.pdf "Financial Highlights" for fiscal year ending August 31, 2011, on page 10 of the SAO Performance Audit.
Google image: LWSD construction website source
The 2012-2017 Six-Year capital Facility Plan draft is available by request to firstname.lastname@example.org