On January 19, at their regularly scheduled meeting, the Board of Trustees took action on two items related to the 2015 Rockwall ISD Bond Projects.
Issuance of Bonds
In order to take advantage of favorable market conditions, Trustees gave the district permission to issue up to $125 million in bonds.
The total includes $26.2 million in bonds that were authorized by voters in 2007 to build Rockwall ISD’s 14th elementary school.
“We’re issuing bonds earlier than we first anticipated,” said Chief Financial Officer Randy McDowell. “However the current market conditions enable us to secure a lower than anticipated interest rate.”
The bond issuance will maintain the projected tax increase of two and a half cents this year but lower the lifetime cost of the debt.
“We’ve completed all of our projections at a 4.25% interest rate to be conservative,” said Jeff Roberts of First Southwest Financial. “I anticipate the actual rate will be below 4%.”
Through its participation in the Texas Permanent Schools Fund, Rockwall ISD’s bond will be issued with a AAA bond rating. By itself Rockwall ISD has a bond rating of AA2 from Moody’s and AA from Standard and Poor’s.
Construction Manager at Risk
Trustees named Northstar Builders and Lee Lewis Construction as the Construction Managers at Risk for three 2015 Bond Projects.
Northstar Builders will provide construction manager services on Elementary 14 and the College and Career Academy. Lee Lewis will work on the new Dobbs Elementary building.
A construction manager works directly with architects to ensure that all of the subcontractor’s work on the project meets the architect’s specifications. A construction manager at risk adds the requirement of the manager assuming the risk if the project goes over-budget.
The construction managers were selected through a sealed-bid process. A selection committee, which included Rockwall ISD representatives and the previously selected architects, opened the 10 submitted bids and rated each of the proposals.
The selection committee’s recommendation and ratings were presented to the trustees during their meeting. The trustees accepted the recommendation of the selection committee.