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Park City School District

Park City School District debt jumps from $79 million to $120 M

PCHS expansion - PCSD.PNG
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PCHS full expansion

With more than $120 million dollars in reserves, the Park City School District will break ground when school gets out to begin on its school facilities master plan projects.

With voter approved funding for $79 million and the Park City Board of Education voting Tuesday to sell another $42 million in lease revenue bonds, construction on six projects can begin.

The projects include an addition to Park City High School to add 9th grade and CTE classrooms; expand Ecker Hill Middle School to add 8th grade classrooms as well as new preschool spaces at all four elementary schools.

School District Business Administrator Todd Hauber says the district will be paying 2.3 percent interest on the voter approved bonds and the new bonds could see interest rates up to 3 percent. He says that’s why it was important that the district move forward with that now...

“The market is moving on us,” Hauber said. “And so that's why we had the special session of the board. We didn't want to wait for the next general session, because rates are moving that quickly right now. So much of that change is out of our control. So it wasn't by design that we had planned to have a higher interest rate. That's where we are in the marketplace. And so, we're moving as quick as we can to lock that in. And to keep that cost down as much as possible.”

The $120 million of bonding will add about $7.5 million dollars a year to the district’s debt service. Hauber says taxes will go up to pay off the voter approved $79 million bonds-estimated to be about $100 for every $950,000 of assess valuation. Taxes he says will also be increased to pay for the staff compensation package approved three years ago, not for the $42 million in bonds...

“There will be a truth in taxation hearing. But that's related to the four year compensation package that we have in place. years three and four contemplated increases in order to support those commitments to our employees. So, there is a tax truth in taxation hearing scheduled that will take place at the board meeting in August, but it will be constrained to just that particular topic that we so it's like, yes, there will be one, but it won't be related to the 42 million.”

The lease revenue bonds will be paid for through the district’s general fund. He says they are having conversations with foundations for funding that would help pay off that debt.

“Those conversations don't preclude going and putting out a lease revenue bond. What we're looking at is opportunity of monies that come in to help make those debt payments as we go into the future. And some of the conversations are starting to form around creating an endowment that would kick off enough interest earnings to help support operations, say of like the preschool programs. Conversations are forming and coming together.”

At this point, there are no signed agreements.

Construction at the high school Ecker Hill and both Jeremy Ranch and McPolin elementary schools. will begin in June. The Parley’s Park and Trailside projects are another year out. Once the first two elementary schools are finished, Hauber says the contractor will pick up the next two. All of the projects should be complete in time for the start of school in August 2024.

Even with the ongoing construction, Hauber believes there will be parking available for both the summer and winter crowds.