A multi-million dollar, zero-interest bond acquired by Bridgeport Independent School District will help fund more than $6 million in projects over the next few years – including about $2.7 million for sports facilities upgrades.
The $5.9 million loan is a Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB). According to the Texas Education Agency, QSCBs “are bonds that school districts and charter schools can use to save money on bonds issued to finance school construction, land acquisition and renovation projects. The QSCB program is a federal program designed to provide to bond holders tax credits that are approximately equal to the interest that states and communities would ordinarily pay the holders of taxable bonds.”
“We’ve been going through the process of identifying projects that can be done,” said Superintendent Eddie Bland.
The projects not only include renovations to sports facilities, but also upgrades to security and HVAC replacement.
The proposed projects include:
- $1.9 million to renovate the football stadium
- $800,000 to install artificial turf
- $45,000 to replace the scoreboard
- $50,000 to build a water drainage retention pond for the varsity baseball field
- $2,252,000 to replace 182 old and inefficient HVAC units on several campuses
- $75,000 to install 200 security cameras
- $150,000 to replace flooring at some campuses
- $100,000 to put electronic message boards at all campuses
- $350,000 to surface and resurface campus parking lots
The projects total $6.245 million, $345,000 of which will be paid from the district’s fund balance.
At Monday night’s school board meeting, trustee Scott Stowers asked if the board can change or alter any of the items on the project list.
“Yes we can,” Bland said, “as long as it still falls under construction or renovations.”
The district applied for one of the federal bonds a few years ago but was denied. They got another chance to apply this year and were approved. They will have 15 years to pay the note back, and any bond money the district doesn’t spend within the next three years will have to be returned.