Center Line Public Schools 2018 bonds sold, projects planned

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published April 6, 2018

CENTER LINE/WARREN — Center Line Public Schools officials are moving along with the district’s $53.95 million bond issue that passed in November 2017.

In a March 23 press release, school officials announced the sale of the 2018 school building and site bonds in an amount not to exceed $53.95 million to be issued in one or more series.  

In preparing to sell the bonds, school officials worked with their municipal advisor, PFM Financial Advisors LLC, and requested that Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings — acting through S&P’s Financial Services LLC — evaluate the district’s credit quality.  

“S&P assigned the school district the underlying rating of A- and stable,” the press release states. “The rating agency cited the school district’s stable enrollment, good general fund reserves and moderate debt burden in their rationale for rating the school district at this level.”

The district’s financing was conducted by the Michigan investment banking office of the brokerage firm Stifel; the municipal advising firm PFM Financial Advisors LLC; and the law firm serving as bond counsel, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC.

The bonds were sold at a true interest rate of 3.78 percent with a final maturity of 2042, which is a repayment term of approximately 24 years.

“Center Line Public Schools’ bonds were well-received by the bond market,” Stifel Managing Director Brenda Voutyras said in a prepared statement. “We were able to take advantage of current interest rates that met the goals of the district and resulted in a lower cost of borrowing than originally anticipated.”

Under the bond, the current tax rate will increase by 4.9 mills, or about $4 per week for a person living in an $80,000 home. If property values rise, the district collects fewer mills. If property values fall, the mills increase, but the amount that each taxpayer pays will remain fairly stable based on the 4.9 mills calculation.

Partners in Architecture PLC, based in Mount Clemens, are the architects for the bond projects. McCarthy and Smith, of Farmington Hills, is the construction company. According to district Superintendent Eve Kaltz, the bond will provide safe, efficient and functional learning environments for the students, community and staff.

“The professionals that we are working with on the back end are truly invested and excited about the future of Center Line Public Schools,” she said.

The bond projects will be completed in three series. District officials have posted a “bond schedule overview” at www.clps.org. Series one will include the design, bidding, planning and construction of the new Peck Elementary School, which should be completed in July 2020, and classroom technology equipment updates at Wolfe Middle School to be ready by October 2018.

The new Peck will be located behind Center Line Hight School, and Peck students in the Early Childhood Center will transfer to the new school when it is completed. When completed, the school will also house the Homeschool Partnership and Academy 21 students, beginning in 2023.

Series one also includes the design, planning, bidding and construction of the Center Line High School swimming pool building, auditorium lighting and partial roofing, set for completion by October 2018; the relocation of the running track at CLHS, slated for completion by October 2018; and technology equipment updates to be ready by October 2018.

Series two of the bond is expected to begin in May 2020, and series three is scheduled to begin in May 2023.

The bond projects also will include security updates at all the school buildings; renovations and new construction at the ECC, as Roose Elementary students will be relocated to the “new Roose” in 2021; improvements to Crothers Elementary, including the addition of a new cafeteria and gym; the relocation of administration to Wolfe and the demolition of the Follbaum Administration Building; the replacement of school buses as they reach the end of their useful lives; and more.

A complete list of bond projects is available at www.clps.org.