At the regularly scheduled February school board meeting of the San Saba ISD, the trustees called for an election that would provide the voters an opportunty to consider the construction of three new facilities for San Saba ISD. The three facilities include a new elementary school, science labs for high school and a new band hall. The board came to this conclusion after studying the needs and taking multiple steps. The ISD conducted a facility needs assessment two years ago and a committee was constructed to review the facilities and the outside facility needs assessment. Most recently the district applied for theQualified School Construction Bond program which accelerated the district’s decision making process. A smaller committee was constructed to determine the most immediate needs that needed to be considered by the voters. This committee sent their recommendations to the school board of trustees. From that point it was the trustees job to determine the need and propose a bond. Their decision was that the most immediate needs were the elementary school, the science labs and the band hall.
With the QSCB’s and low construction costs available, the best time to build may be now. San Saba ISD has a rare opportunity to advance a building program with zero to low interest construction bonds. In the summer of 2010, SSISD applied for and was awarded these bonds through a federally funded program called the Qualified School Construction Bond program. The Qualified School Construction Bond program provides $11 billion face value in tax-free bonds in both fiscal years 2009 and 2010 to help fund school construction, rehabilitation, repair, and land acquisition. It is estimated that the federally-funded bonds will save schools nearly $10 billion in taxes over the next 10 years. The legislation requires that 40 percent of the bond face value be distributed to the 100 local education agencies (LEAs) with the most students living in poverty and the remaining 60 percent to other LEAs based on the distribution of Title I Part A Basic Education Grants.
Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB) are authorized by the federal government through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The bonds provide federal tax credits for bond holders in lieu of interest in order to significantly reduce an issuer’s cost of borrowing for public school construction projects. In preliminary calculations, the uses of the QSCB’s could possibly garner the ISD a savings of approximately $3 million over the life of a building program. San Saba ISD qualified for $5.142 million in zero to low interest bonds. Construction costs are presently significantly lower than they have been in several years and the board and administration are carefully considering the impact on the community and the future impact on the school district. The next steps that will be taken for the District is to hold an election on the uniform election date of May 14. The time between now and the election will be spent providing the voters with the most information they can get so they will feel informed when they go to the polls to cast their vote. Superintendent, Leigh Ann Glaze encourages all taxpayers and interested parties to take the time to call her or any school administrator or board member to ask questions. If individuals would like to tour the facilities the district would be more than happy to make this opportunity available.