Rocky Fork Enterprise

Lincoln High School athletics facilities set for repairs

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Lincoln High School Lions can look forward to new bleachers, a refinished gym floor and repairs to the track next school year.

The Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education approved several contracts May 9 for athletics facility improvements and repairs to be completed this summer.

Contracts were approved with Farnham Equipment to remove and install bleachers in the "A" gym at Lincoln High School at a cost of $123,600. Cincinnati Floor Co. will refinish/recoat the "B" gym floor at a cost of $43,500, and Heiberger Paving will repair/resurface the high school track D-zones (area between the end zone and the track) for $53,359.

Athletics director Justin Sanford told ThisWeek the facility repairs and renovations would be funded through both the district and athletics pay-to-participate fees as part of needed maintenance and improvements within school facilities.

He said he would bring a sports medicine contract to the board in June.

"If approved, it would be of great savings to the district to the amount totaling more than $100,000 over the course of the 10-year term," Sanford said. "In addition, there is a sponsorship package -- if approved by the board of education -- that totals $100,000, which could be used for additional facility improvements, repairs and maintenance as well."

Sanford told the board he would be back next month with a contract extension for OhioHealth Sports Medicine for a term of 10 years.

He previously reported to the board that the last time the main gym floor was resealed was in summer 2003.

"You can see chips and scratches in the blue portion of the paint," he said.

Sanford said the B gym floor was installed in the 1970s and hasn't been updated since the initial installation.

Superintendent Francis Scruci praised Sanford for working with OhioHealth and finding an outside revenue stream.

"The bleachers are over 35 years old," he said. "It shows a commitment to our kids and the brand of what we're trying to accomplish."

Board member Scott Mounts said the repairs are needed from a safety standpoint, and it corrects a liability in the district.

In other business, district treasurer Julio Valladares provided the board with a five-year forecast report that was approved.

Overall, he said, the district is projecting to be solvent through fiscal year 2014.

However, he reported, fiscal years 2015-17 are projecting negative unreserved fund balances.

The fund balance for June 30, 2014, is $470,962. For June 2015, a projected deficit of $2.2 million is expected. That increases to $5.8 million in 2016 and $10.2 million in 2017, he said.

He said the five-year forecast would need to be updated again in the near future because of such factors as upcoming negotiations results, uncertain events in legislation and upcoming changes in the state budget.

The board also approved a letter of intent with Limbach Co. to proceed with the procurement and construction related to the House Bill 264 Energy Conservation Project.

John Payne, independent financial adviser for the school district, said the legislation allows for project financing for energy savings.

"It's the issuance of securities to finance that over 15 years," he said. "The great thing about that is the energy savings offsets the payment. It's a little over $4 million. We expect that 15-year loan to have an interest rate of 2 to 2.5 percent."

The board also approved a resolution authorizing the refinancing of bonds issued in 2010 for Clark Hall, not to exceed $6.5 million.

Payne said the refinance is an unusual circumstance because those bonds were sold in 2010 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"It's a unique situation," he said. "It (would) achieve cuts in total payments. That's a real winner for the district. It hasn't been done yet in Ohio. We hope a big city does it. Right now it looks like the right thing to do. Our schedule calls for that one in mid-June. It's a great savings opportunity."

The board also approved a third bond resolution, authorizing the issuance of bonds not to exceed $6.7 million for the purpose of refunding bonds issued in 2005, for the purpose of advance refunding bonds issued in 1999 and for the purpose of renovating, improving and constructing additions to school buildings and facilities.

Payne cited industry-accepted targets for savings connected to the refinancing.

"Many of Mr. Valladares' colleagues set standard targets," Payne said. "It's a goal to get there and above it so you're not just willy-nilly refinancing."

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