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Board of Education Approves Resolution for School Construction Grant

by Steve Wilder

August 30, 2011

The Board of Education approved a resolution at a Special Meeting held on August 29, 2011 to finalize its commitment to the State of Illinois for the School Construction Grant which will be used to construct an addition to Jensen Gymnasium and replace the existing Knoxville High School building.

The resolution is required by the Capital Development Board (CDB) in order to move forward with awarding grant money. The CDB requires that all School Districts who will receive School Construction Grant funds identify their maximum "local share" in a Board Resolution. Approving such a resolution does not commit a School District to borrowing those funds at this time. The resolution is a demonstration that a School District can afford their identified "local share" of the funding for a School Construction Grant project.

After receiving the approved resolution, the CDB can now move forward in the process of awarding grant funds. Final approval and awarding of grant funds is accomplished through an Intergovernmental Agreement signed by the Capital Development Board and the School District. When that is signed, the CDB "sets aside" the entirety of the State's share of the funding, to be awarded incrementally as the project progresses. This avoids the possibility of Construction Grant funds running out midway through the project.

This initial funding will allow Knoxville CUSD #202 to return to the process of finalizing the details of the Board approved design from July 18, 2011 and continuing towards the ultimate construction of the High School addition. No additional work on the project will be done until the CDB and Board of Education have signed the Intergovernmental Agreement. No funds will be borrowed through the sale of bonds until the CDB and Board of Education have signed the Intergovernmental Agreement.

Earlier this month, the CDB announced their "recognized project cost" for the addition based on the design presented to them on July 19, 2011. Architects and Engineers from BLDD Architects, selected by the Board of Education to lead this project, estimated the cost of the building to be between $18-22 million. A more accurate final cost can not be determined until the design process proceeds and additional details are finalized which will impact the overall cost of the project, such as building materials.

Knoxville CUSD #202 could afford a maximum of $11.4 million to meet its local share without raising property taxes through a combination of an $8.0 million Alternate Revenue Bond to be paid off using County Facility Sales Tax revenue and approximately $3.5 million in Life Safety Bonds. Borrowing up to $3.5 million in Life Safety Bonds could be achieved through the refinancing and combination with existing Life Safety Bonds.

Under this plan a maximum of $11.4 million could be achieved without raising property taxes. No final decisions regarding amounts of funds to be borrowed were made on August 29. Any future bond sale is dependent on the CDB finalizing the award of grant monies to Knoxville CUSD #202, which we hope will happen sometime this Fall.

If you have any questions regarding the High School Construction project, please contact the Knoxville CUSD #202 District Office at 309-289-2328.

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