Early stadium bond sale recommended

School officials are trying to take advantage of low interest rates by selling Memorial Stadium bonds before the end of the year, a move which would save taxpayers a lot of money in interest payments.

“We expect we are going to save about $1 million in interest with these bonds,” Superintendent Rick Schulte said during the Monday evening school board meeting.

Voters this month approved a $6.5 million bond issue to build a new Memorial Stadium and other athletic facilities at Oak Harbor High School.

Jack Eaton, the school district’s bond underwriter from Bank of America, said during the meeting that it’s a good idea to sell the bonds now when rates are relatively low.

School officials had planned to wait to sell the stadium bonds until after the spring bond measure that would pay for renovation of Oak Harbor High School. However, interest rates are starting to rise, Eaton said.

Should the bond sale go as the administration hopes, the estimated the tax rate will be approximately 18 cents per $1,000 assessed value on a home, which is one penny less than advertised in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 8 general election.

With the bond approval, school officials are moving forward with the design of the new athletic facilities, including a stadium with covered bleachers, new football turf, competition-quality track and renovation of the athletic fields at Oak Harbor High School.

The school district already has an architect, McGranahan Architects, to design the new facility. McGranahan is the same firm that is designing the new Coupeville High School.

Schulte said he will meet with officials from the architecture firm to negotiate a dollar amount for the work. He hopes to have a contract ready for the school board to approve at the Dec. 12 meeting.

The school district also is contacting the city of Oak Harbor to learn what permits need approval before construction can begin.

The school district will form a design committee to begin discussions about what kind of veteran’s monument will be placed at the new stadium and the official name of the facility, Schulte said.

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