Tyler ISD sells $160.5M worth of bonds

Published on Thursday, 25 July 2013 22:16 - Written by By Emily Guevara eguevara@tylerpaper.com

Tyler ISD taxpayers will see no tax rate increase to fund district debt after the successful sale of $160.5 million in bonds.

Dusty Traylor, with RBC Capital Markets, the district’s financial advising firm, said Thursday that the interest rate is 4.32 percent with the cost of issuance factored in. It’s 3.96 percent when directly considering the yield of the bonds.

These rates mean the school district will be able to pay back this bond debt throughout the next 30 years without exceeding its existing debt service tax rate of 33.5 cents per $100 valuation, a promise made to voters prior to the May bond election.

That rate should start going down in 2016, assuming the district does not take on any additional debt or that property tax values do not decline.

These monies will finance six projects including the creation of a career and technical education center, the construction of new Boulter and Moore middle schools, along with one in southwest Tyler, and the completion of renovations/additions at Rice and Dixie elementary schools.

The bond sale means that the district should have the money in the bank by Wednesday.

TISD is scheduled to begin construction on the career and technical education center next month with the other projects slated to start early next year.

Traylor said the district’s bond sale was equal to or better than two other school district sales, Judson ISD and Katy ISD, that happened about the same time.

“Your bonds were very well received in the market the day they were priced,” he said, attributing that to TISD’s excellent financial ratings and sound financial management.

More than $1.6 million of the district’s bonds were purchased by Tyler area entities with another $7 million bought by Texas entities, Traylor said.

In other business, the board approved 6-0 to hire three construction managers at risk for its six bond projects. Board member Shirley Jordan was absent.

WRL General Contractors, of Flint, will manage construction for the career and technical education center, the new Moore MST Middle School and the new Boulter Middle School.

Jackson Construction, of Quitman, will manage the construction for the new middle school at 2445 Three Lakes Parkway in southwest Tyler.

And RPR Construction Co., of Tyler, will manage the renovations/additions at Rice and Dixie elementary schools.

The district has prior experience with RPR and WRL, with both companies having managed school construction for earlier bond-related projects.

In addition, both companies are completing renovation work at John Tyler and Robert E. Lee high schools.

TISD facilities director Tim Loper said although the district has not worked with Jackson before, the company has a lot of school-related construction experience in the Quitman area.