Bond sale will finish 2 schools: Rock Hill board selling remaining $40 million for middle, high school

Rock Hill - The Rock Hill school board has decided to complete a bond sale for school construction that voters approved in a 2000 referendum.

The sale of $40 million in bonds remaining from the original $80 million will pay for the ongoing construction of both the district’s third high school and the new Castle Heights Middle School.

The board also approved a new $2.5 million bond sale at its Monday meeting for building improvements and computer and technology upgrades.

The sale will take place in September and is timed to coincide with how quickly the high school construction is picking up speed, said Associate Superintendent John Hair.

Property taxes are unlikely to increase more than $8 on a $100,000 home, if at all, because the sale takes advantage of the current low interest rates, Hair said. The low rates and the district’s strategy in paying off debt could keep property tax increases small over the next few years, he said.

"I’m not going to downplay the importance of the low interest rates," Hair said.

Combining the two sales into a $42.5 million bond sale also saves the district about $20,000 in fees, Hair said.

The new Castle Heights Middle to opening very soon, and the third high school, which is located next to Saluda Trail Middle School, will open in fall 2005. Construction on the high school began this spring and stalled because of rainy weather, but builders have already poured some foundations and built some walls, Hair said.

In March, voters approved the bonds to pay for the new middle and high schools, roofing repairs at district buildings and the construction of the Central Child Development Center and Old Pointe Elementary School.

In spring, a $10 million bond sale went toward financing Central and Old Pointe. Both schools opened in August. In October, the district sold another $30 million in bonds to begin building the new Castle Heights, which is located across from Rock Hill High School.

"We didn’t sell the bonds until right about the time the money would be needed," Hair said.

The district has issued $2.5 million in bonds to fund building and technology improvements every year over the last several years, Hair said.

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