By Will Johnson
LATEXO – The Latexo Independent School District Board of Trustees met in a called meeting on Thursday, Sept. 10 highlighted by presentations on the district’s proposed bond.
The first presentation of the evening was provided by Lucas Janda with Live Oak Public Finance, who said the main thrust of his report was to give the trustees an idea about what has changed on the landscape of the bond.
“There are two major components when you talk about financing bonds – what the tax base is doing and what interest rates are doing. Both have actually worked in favor of the district in the last six months,” he said.
Janda explained the recent property appraisals showed property values had increased slightly and interest rates had dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right now, it’s a win-win in that regard. Interest rates, according to most economists, they feel they will hold steady at where they are for eight to 12 to 24 months. That gives you a good window so if the election passes in November, if you want to wait and sell right after you have preliminary values for the upcoming tax year, we can do that. If we can get some insight from the Houston County Appraisal District that says you are holding steady or maybe up, if you want to sell earlier, we definitely can,” he said.
He added the district currently had several options about how they wanted to structure the bond and most were currently open.
Next up was Larry Lasiter, the corporate VP of architectural firm Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong.
“I’m glad to be here tonight to share some of the information – preliminarily – about what the structure could look like. I thought you might like to see what some of the other schools we’ve done around the area look like,” he said.
Lasiter added, “I know one of the reasons for the district wanting a new gym is because the one you are currently in is too small. I thought I might show what some of the other districts have done as far as curb appeal and making their school look a little nicer.”
Next, the VP presented several slides of a few of the projects his firm had worked on including several mock ups of the Latexo project.
Prior to the bond discussion, LISD Superintendent Michael Woodard reported the district currently had an enrollment of 483, with 233 students at the high school and 250 at the elementary.
“Our ADA is at 436 right now on a budget of 430, so we’re good. At the high school, we have 10 kids who are doing synchronous learning and 18 who are doing asynchronous for a total of 18. It’s about the same at the elementary.”
In other matters brought before the LISD Board:
- Consent Agenda items were approved.
- The second reading of TASB Policy Update 115 was held.
- The Adjunct Faculty Agreement with the Houston County Extension Office was approved.
- A resolution requesting extracurricular status for 4-H was approved.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.