The Park City School District selected the firm MHTN as bond architects to take on the next phase of the 18-month master planning effort.
It’s not a forgone conclusion that the school district will issue a general obligation bond to complete the master planning steering committee recommendations. As KPCW has reported, community and education stake holders advocated for grade realignment, which would move 9th grade to the high school, create one or two 6th through 8th grade middle schools and provide district-wide universal pre-k in the elementary schools.
Park City School District Business Administrator Todd Hauber says MHTN was selected using state procurement guidelines.
“The master planning process left off with a number of options and some decision trees. This group will now pick it up from there and take, with our direction, which of those options need to now be fully vetted and an estimated cost placed on it because we know the community is looking to understand also what the cost is for different options. It’s an important element in decision making.
Hauber says the district is paying MHTN a little over $1.6 million to flesh out costs, communicate with the public and define financing mechanisms, which may include a bond referendum.
"We need the work that's being done now and then in a general obligation bond there's a responsibility to publish what's called a voter information pamphlet. This firm would then help us put that document together so that we have the right information going out to the public as we come up to a vote in November, if that's the timeline we're on.”
There are other financial instruments to consider, but Hauber says the general obligation bond would carry the lowest interest rate and be the least expensive financing option. A more expensive option would be a lease revenue bond.
“So, the district would create a building authority and then that building authority would issue the debt. It's a different debt structure it doesn't look like a general obligation bond.”Bank loans or private financing are options for consideration depending on the estimated costs of the various master planning projects.
MHTN is currently working with school personnel to flesh out the master plan recommendations. They’ll put a price tag on the various grade realignment options, and they’ll take the cost details to the public later in the spring. Hauber details the remaining steps in the process.
A phase two will be more involved with the board talking about what the options are starting to look like and what the cost ranges are starting to look like and then they'll be a phase three which is a community engagement piece and the options as they are fleshed out and the price tags that we believe are most representative of those costs.”
MHTN will manage the final phase which will be to prepare a bond referendum to be on November’s ballot. A decision must be made by mid-July if the board of education chooses the general obligation bond financing option.