Scott Beardsley with Beardsley Public Finance met with the Manila School Board on Thursday, Nov. 20, giving an update on the refunding and construction bond issue to construct a new elementary facility.
Voters approved a millage increase for the $4,385,000 project to construct a new K-4 facility. Any remaining funds will be used for refurbishing, remodeling, and equipping existing school facilities.
"You (Manila District) got an incredible bid," Beardsley said. "Turmoil in the market has affected school bonds."
Beardsley said five bids had been submitted. The lowest bid was from Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. with 4.579883 percent. He said closing date is set for Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. in the offices of Friday, Eldredge and Clark Law Firm.
Beardsley reviewed with the board the procedure from closing to completion of the project explaining the new tax will start being collected in January with the first payment due later in the year. He presented a hand-out with regulations and debt service schedule.
During the financial review, Superintendent Pam Castor informed board members the district had received $42,484.92 from the Microsoft class action settlement.
High School Principal Pam Chipman addressed the board presenting a letter from the Arkansas Commissioner of Education and a framed certificate from the Arkansas ACT Council. Manila was one of 17 Arkansas high schools being honored with a 2008 College Readiness Award from the ACT Council. Manila received the award because of the increase in composite ACT scores over the last five years.
Chipman expressed her appreciation to the students and the teachers for their dedicated work.
Connie Adams, director of curriculum and programs, updated board members on test scores. She said the AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) status froze and was the same as last year due to the revamping of the school buildings with Manila establishing a middle school. She said there has been improvement on the scores and the one area the district is looking to improve is the socio-economic sub-population.
The Manila School Board meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month.