School board sets Feb. 4 as date for bond sale

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2008


News Editor

RESERVE—The St. John School Board has set the date of Wednesday, February 4, 2009, for the sale of $10 million in General Obligation School Bonds. Voters approved the bond sale on Nov. 4 as part of a set of propositions that ultimately will provide the school system with $46 million with which to implement its Educational and Facilities Master Plan.

The sale will last until 11 a.m. on Feb. 4. According to a parish spokesman, ending the sale at that time will help to get a better interest rate on the bonds because dealers can take a good look at the sale before finalizing it at noon.

Bids will be accepted in written form at the Godchaux Grammar Cafeteria at 1600 Highway 44 in Reserve. They must be in written form on the Official Bid Form in a sealed envelope marked “Proposal for the Purchase of General Obligation School Bonds, Series 2009 of School District No. 1 of the Parish of St. John the Baptist, State of Louisiana.”

Electronic bids will also be accepted via the PARITY system. For further information about the PARITY system, prospective bidders should call 212-849-5021.

The bonds will be dated March 1, 2009, and will be issued in $5,000 denominations or multiples thereof.

The sale of the bonds will fund the school system’s Educational and Facilties Master Plan. The plan will focus on improving St. John’s schools through the renovation and restructuring of key athletic and educational components at each school in the parish.

The resolution to set the date for the bond sale was passed unanimously by the board.

The bond issue was one of two school-related matters put before voters on Nov. 4.

The two issues passed with nearly a 2 to 1 margin.

In keeping with the timeline for the sale of the bonds, CSRS, the consulting firm aiding the school system with the implementation of the master plan, announced that it has completed the first round of assessing future construction sites, including the elementary schools where playgrounds are to be added.

They have set a tentative date of Jan. 6 to accept applications from firms wishing to work on the projects included in the first round of improvements.

After they rate the applicants, they will turn their assessment over to the finance committee, who will then decide how to proceed.

CSRS is also working on a procedure manual to aid the school system in choosing which companies will be chosen to make the improvements.

For larger projects, time will be set aside for oral presentations said CSRS spokesman Kevin Chenevert.

“It will be up to your discretion whether you want to interview every candidate or not,” he added.

Ultimately, the goal is for the process to coincide with the bond sale, since that will generate the revenue for the projects.

Board Member Patrick Sanders questioned the timeline because interested parties would have less than a month to put together proposals. Because of this, the date for applications may be pushed back to Jan. 13.

Additionally, Board Member Albert Burl III asked whether a certain percentage of the work would be set aside for minority contracts, but it was determined that further research would have to be done on the matter before any decisions were made.