01-24-12: Bond refinance to save taxpayers $11.4 million over 12 years
01-24-12: Bond refinance to save taxpayers $11.4 million over 12 years

Given favorable bond market conditions and recent low interest rates, the district has refinanced a portion of the 2004 voter-approved school bonds for a direct savings to taxpayers of $11.4 million over the next 12 years.

“We just saved our community nearly $1 million a year for the next 12 years,” said Corine Pennington, executive director of business services.

The school board approved the reissuance of $73,945,000 in refunding bonds at an interest rate of 2.34 percent — down from 4.98 percent on the old debt.

The savings flow directly to taxpayers, she said, through reduced tax levies. None of the money is available for district expenses.

“This is a direct savings to our community members in the form of taxes they expected, but will not have, to pay,” she said.

The 2004 school bond paid for a variety of facility improvements throughout the district, including the construction of Carson and Edgerton elementary schools, as well as Glacier View Junior High; the replacement of Kalles and Aylen junior high schools; and a one-story classroom addition at Puyallup High.

The bonds also paid for the upgrade of junior high science labs; classroom additions and other improvements at Fruitland and Meeker elementary schools; remodels or other infrastructure work at Ferrucci Junior High and Northwood Elementary; the relocation of the Information Technology Center; special education classroom modifications; and districtwide technology improvements.

State match money collected from the 2004 bonds have also paid for projects including a new field, track, and sound system at Sparks Stadium, as well as track and field improvements at Emerald Ridge High School.

“I am very grateful to the voters in our community for approving the 2004 bond measure," said Superintendent Tony Apostle. "I am even more impressed that market interest rates have dropped in an effort to reduce our bond debt, or “mortgage,” by $11.4 million.”