School board approves county-proposed loan plan

At Tuesday’s Mecklenburg County School Board meeting the board approved the Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) Reimbursement Resolution presented to them by Mecklenburg County Administrator Wayne Carter and Associate Vice President of Davenport & Company R.T. Taylor.
Carter and Taylor explained to the school board what the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors discussed during their July meeting. The board of supervisors voted last week to apply for funding from the VPSA to cover the costs of either a new combined high/middle school complex or major upgrades to the elementary schools within Mecklenburg County.
Carter asked the school board to take action on the plan to move forward with the application process to borrow up to $50 million dollars in funding from the VPSA Financing Program during its fall funding period.
Mecklenburg County is considering multiple School Capital Projects that include a combined High/Middle School complex with an expected cost of $100 million, various elementary school upgrade/repair projects with an expected cost of $30 million and energy efficiency/savings measures projects with an expected cost of $1.4 million.
Mecklenburg County has agreed to loan the school board $1,331,562 at a 2 percent interest rate for 15 years to cover the energy efficiency/savings measures projects for the school system.
The funds being applied for through the VPSA Financing Program will be used for either the combined High/Middle School complex or the various elementary school projects which will need to be decided upon by October 3.
There are four sites under review for a possible location for a combined school facility. Once the reviews are complete and the Joint Education Committee will select a location to be voted upon by the school board and supervisors.
If the school board and the county board of supervisors agree on a location for the new school, the county can continue with the $50 million loan. If the school board and the supervisors cannot come to an agreement, the loan can be dropped to $30 million and be used to upgrade and improve the county’s elementary schools.
Carter said if the funding is chosen to go toward the combined school project the remaining funds will need to be applied for through VPSA again at a time that has not been determined yet.
No matter which project is chosen the money provided by the VPSA Financing Project would be expected to be put to use within three years form the respective financing date.
School board member Wanda Bailey asked when the clock would start for the three-year period and was told that November 7 was the start and the next three years progress must be shown on the project.
Though the school board voted to allow the county to move forward with the application process they will have the opportunity to back out if they choose to. Now that the resolution has been approved by the Mecklenburg County School Board the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors will move forward with the application process.