Farmington School Seeks To Extend Debt
WOULD HELP PAY FOR FOOTBALL, SOCCER, TRACK FACILITIES
FARMINGTON — Farmington School Board is asking registered voters to allow the school district to extend its debt to give the school the ability to issue bonds for Phase 3 of the Farmington High School campus.
Farmington School District collects a 42.6-mill property tax, of which 25 mills is dedicated to general maintenance and operation and 17.6 mills is dedicated to paying off existing debt.
The school is asking voters to allow it to extend the 17.6 mills another 12 years from 2036 to 2048.
The question to extend debt will be on the Sept. 19 school election ballot. Farmington voters will have two options on the ballot, either “For Tax” or “Against Tax.” If approved, the total property tax rate would remain the same at 42.6 mills.
Polls will be open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Registered voters can cast ballots at any of the election centers that day. In Farmington, voters can go to Main Street Baptist Church.
“All we would be doing is extending the debt out,” said Bryan Law, superintendent of schools. “It’s the same as going from a 15-year note on a house to a 30-year note.”
If voters approve extending debt, the school is proposing to issue $4.5 million in bonds with the money to go for “erecting and equipping new facilities and making additions and improvements to existing facilities.”
Specifically, the School Board is proposing to use the money to help pay for Phase 3 of the high school campus. Phase 3 includes football, soccer and track facilities.
Law said his goal is to finish the high school campus without a millage increase.
“I hope voters are happy and satisfied we’ve been able to provide a $30 million school without asking for a millage increase,” he said.
School officials estimate Phase 3 will cost $5-6 million for dirt work, track and field facilities, football/soccer stadium, turf surface, concession stand and bathrooms, press box, parking lot and other amenities.
This cost does not include an indoor practice facility. Law said he hopes the project will be able to include the indoor facility at this time but is not sure yet.
Farmington would pay for Phase 3 with proceeds from a new bond issue and money from its building reserve account. The current balance of that fund is about $2 million, according to Mandy Uher, district treasurer.
David Faught, with Stephens Inc. of Fayetteville, said the school would offer bonds on or around Oct. 26, if the debt extension passes on the ballot, and close on the transaction Dec. 12.
According to preliminary design plans for Phase 3, the new facilities will be located on 15-20 acres in the northwest corner of the high school property, with the football field and separate track both running north to south.
Mark Haguewood with Hight Jackson Associates said the new football/ soccer stadium would seat 2,500 on the home side and 1,500 on the visitor’s side. A 170-foot by 20-foot concession stand/bathroom facility will be located on the north end of the football field. The stadium will have a two-story, custom-built press box.
An indoor practice facility with office space and locker rooms would be located on the south end of the football field.
Football and soccer locker rooms and storage would be located underneath the home stands, with a smaller, separate concession area and locker room available for track. Visiting teams will go to locker rooms underneath the visitor’s stands.
The track will have bleachers to seat 500 fans, with a small press box above the stands.
Kinco Construction is serving as construction manager for Phase 3 and requests for bids for site work will go out this month, Haguewood said. Bid packages for construction will go out Dec. 20 and will be due Jan. 18, 2018.
This design from Hight Jackson Associates shows the layout for the new Farmington football/soccer stadium and separate track facility. Both will be located in the northwest corner of the high school campus. The school is asking voters to be allowed to extend debt by 12 years to help pay for the new athletic facilities.