Nov 24, 2020 4:56 PM

USD 489 board discusses how to spend money from Washington sale

Posted Nov 24, 2020 4:56 PM
The sale of the former Washington school will generate $500,000 revenue for the Hays USD 489 school district.
The sale of the former Washington school will generate $500,000 revenue for the Hays USD 489 school district.

By CRISTINA JANNEY
Hays Post

The Hays school board heard several options Monday of how it can spend the $500,000 the district will receive from the sale of the former Washington school.

The sale of the school is supposed to close with Overland Property Group in December. The developers plan to remodel the school into apartments.

USD 489 lease obligations
USD 489 lease obligations

The district financed $1.8 million at 3.49 percent for the renovation of the new Early Childhood Complex on 13th Street.

When the board first entered into the contract with Overland Property Group, it discussed using the funds from the sale to pay down the debt on the ECC project.

The district could save about $131,000 and pay off the ECC debt three years early if the district used the $500,000 from the Washington sale to pay down the ECC debt, Chris Hipp, assistant superintendent of business services, told the board.

The district also might reap savings by refinancing the ECC debt. Hipp said it depended on the interest rate and fees, but he estimated a savings of about $45,000 in the interest if the district could refinance at 2.5 percent.

 The district is also facing an estimated $1.8 million cost to repair the HVAC system at Roosevelt Elementary School. Hipp estimated the district could save $65,000 in interest if it used the $500,000 to reduce the amount the district will borrow to complete that project.

The design for the project is being finalized. The district hopes to begin that project at the end of the school year.

A third option would be to use the $500,000 to pay for other unmet facility needs.

 "There is no shortage of projects that we could apply that money to," Hipp said.

Hipp used the example of repaving of the Hays High School parking lot. The district is in year four of repairs to the parking lot. If the district continues at its current pace spending about $100,000 to $150,000 a year, it will take another five years to pave the full lot.

The district also has rotations for carpet and roofs and is considering adding a rotation for replacing windows.

Superintendent Ron Wilson said the typical financial strategy would be to pay down the highest interest debt first. However, he said a school district rarely receives an extra $500,000 into its capital outlay budget. 

"Because of bond issues failing, with 1992 the last bond issue, we have lots and lots and lots of projects that have gotten pushed back and pushed back," Wilson said.

Wilson said a revised list of facility needs should be available to the board in January.

The board took no action on the matter Monday night.

The board also heard a report on the state accreditation process and the potential purchase of new business suite software.