Walla Walla Public Schools sold bonds from the successful November 6 General Election Thursday, Dec. 13 in Seattle that resulted in millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Favorable market conditions, coupled with the district’s strong Aa3 underlying credit rating, generated robust interest from investors. The competitive 3.2% overall rate, nearly 1% less than preliminary estimates, represents an extremely low borrowing amount, shaving over two years off of bond payments, saving taxpayers over $13.4M in interest payments over the life of the bonds. Superintendent Wade Smith, accompanied by Board Vice President Sam Wells and Bond Oversight Committee Chair Scott Morasch were all smiles following a successful morning on DA Davidson’s sales floor in Seattle.
“Today was a real win for our community,” said Smith. “Not only will we be able to pay these bonds off years earlier, the projected bond rate taxpayers will be paying will be the lowest in 10 years.”
Earlier this week, the district advertised for the General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) for the Walla Walla High School project. General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM), often referred to as a “collaborative delivery model,” permits the district to hire the general contractor early on in the design phase, capitalizing on their ability to participate and partner through the pre-construction and design programming, rather than bringing on the firm after the design work is complete.
Superintendent Smith will soon be visiting with the Bond Oversight Committee to seek a representative to serve on the screening and interview committee as the district proceeds through the GC/CM process that allows it to select the contractor to deliver on the district’s flagship project, Wa- Hi. Community Facilities Task Force member Dean Lodmell has agreed to serve as a representative from the Facility Task Force.
“We have also been busy with our preparation work so that we are ready to break ground on the Wa-Hi science complex next fall,” said Smith “We went out to bid, and successfully contracted with two local firms (Anderson Perry and PBS Environmental), who are busy performing site survey work and required geotechnical studies.”
In early January. Wa-Hi science staff will visit Pullman High School, North Central High School, and Ferris High School to glean ideas and concepts from these brand-new science facilities.
For more information about the bond program, visit the bond website at www.wwpsbond.org or follow progress updates on Twitter @bondwwps
Photo L-R: Bond Oversight Committee Chair Scott Morasch, Superintendent Wade Smith and School Board Vice President Sam Wells review bond sale documents.