- Bel-Nor School
Local Financial Institutions Continue to Support Normandy Growth with Bonds Purchase
The Normandy Schools Collaborative approved the sale of $10 million in general obligation bonds to help finance a new Early Learning Center, additions to Washington and Jefferson Elementary schools, and other facility upgrades. The Collaborative’s Joint Executive Governing Board approved the sale at a special meeting Friday, Dec. 14, making this the final offering of a $23 million, no-tax-rate-increase bond issue approved by voters in April 2017. The first $5 million in municipal bonds were sold in August 2017 and $8 million more were sold in March 2018.
The Normandy Joint Executive Governing Board (JEGB) approved the latest bond issue to L.J. Hart & Company of St. Louis, the district’s municipal bond underwriter. Local banks were offered the first opportunity to invest, and taking up the offer this time were: Midwest BankCentre purchasing $250,000; Central Bank of St. Louis, $250,000; and Parkside Financial bought $250,000. During the previous offerings, Midwest BankCentre, Carrollton Bank, and Parkside Financial Bank and Trust invested in the bonds.
“Our partnerships with local businesses have been critical to the progress we’ve made as a school district and we appreciate these institutions making an investment in our students and the community,” said Dr. Charles J. Pearson, Superintendent of Schools.
According to L.J. Hart & Company, all of the bonds carry a 5 percent interest rate and are scheduled to mature between March 1, 2023, and March 1, 2029, with reoffered yields on the March 1, 2024, call date ranging from 2.65 percent to 3.10 percent. This structure produces almost $947,000 in additional funding in case construction bids exceed project budgets. The interest income from the bonds is exempt from state and federal income taxes, and the bonds carry an AA+ rating from S&P Global (formerly Standard & Poor's Corp.). The rating is based on the school district’s participation in the state’s Direct Deposit Program through the Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority, along with the financial and academic strides it has made since gaining provisional accreditation in 2018.
The bonds also contain an optional, penalty-free redemption provision on March 1, 2024, which can help reduce future interest charges in case of prepayment or refinancing. The financing proceeds are expected to be available to the Collaborative on Jan. 10 and will be reinvested immediately to earn additional interest for paying project costs.
The new Early Learning Center is scheduled to open in August on the site of the current Normandy 7th-8th Grade Center at 7855 Natural Bridge Road. The two elementary schools are being outfitted with new science labs and media centers, among other needed improvements. The projects are expected to be completed for the 2019-2020 school year.
CAPTION #2: This is the architect’s rendering of the new Normandy Early Learning Center located on Natural Bridge Road near the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. Bonds sold recently are used on this project as well as other capital improvements in the Collaborative. The facility is scheduled to open in fall 2019.