The home side stadium at the A.C. Jones High School field was deemed unsafe earlier this year. This set of bleachers is about 30 years old.
Trustees approved a five-year note; however, Trustee John Fish made the recommendation that the loan be paid off early, in only three years.
Trustees won’t know an interest rate on their maintenance tax note until their next meeting, but representatives from Southwest Securities said during a previous meeting that they estimate it will be in the area of 2.5 percent.
Currently, the district has $7.8 million in its fund balance. This transaction will bring that total to just under $7 million.
Trustees have said that there are two reasons to keep a fund balance of this amount.
First, it helps keep their bond rating high, currently a AAA. A bond rating is much like a person’s credit rating. The higher it is, the more likely it is to get loans at better interest rates.
Second, the district is required to keep enough to pay for three months of operating expenses — about $6 million.
Velma Elizalde, board secretary, in recapping the need for and money spent on the new bleachers, said, “It needs to be something that would stand the test of time.
“It isn’t lightly that we take money and spend it.”
These new bleachers, as previously approved, will include a larger press box which will include two small rooms for news media, an area for the announcer, scorekeeper, coaches from both teams and a large area for sport scouts and others. There is also an elevator which leads to the press box.
Those sitting in the stands also will notice that their view of the field won’t be blocked by people trying to find a seat. The walkway has been moved from the front of the stands to the middle.
Earlier this month, crews from the school district salvaged the aluminum seating from the home side bleachers. The steel structure is what has been declared unsafe.
Deputy Superintendent Erasmo Rodriguez, during the meeting, said that these planks, valued at $100,000 when they were installed, could be used somewhere else in the district.
While not discussed during this meeting, it has been said that the district could use these seats at the tennis courts or the softball field.