Caddo Hills approves gym improvements

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    DERWOOD BRETT
    During a special meeting Monday, November 17, the Caddo Hills School Board voted to enter into a lease/purchase agreement to totally revamp lighting in district facilities, add air conditioning to the Physical Education Gymnasium and construct a storage building adjacent to the gym.
    The lighting project has been under consideration for several months following a recommendation by Superintendent Deric Owens, who researched the project to replace existing lighting with energy efficient lighting.
    The lighting replacement project is planned to provide brighter lighting while reducing utility bills for the district, according to Owens. It is similar in scope to systems used in other districts, where it has been proven to work.
    The lighting improvements will be paid for with a 10-year financing arrangement through First Security Beardsley Public Finance, according to Marshall Hughes, who represented the company at last week’s meeting.
    According to documents shown to the board, payments will be due every six months in the amount of $16,361.57. There is no penalty for early payoff of the lease after the first semi-annual payment.
    A provision in the lease/purchase agreement will allow for installation of air conditioning in the P.E. Gym, which should make the facility more useful for students as well as community functions. A small building will also be constructed adjacent to the gym for equipment and other needed storage.
    Owens told the board that by installing air conditioning in the gymnasium and construction of a portable stage, the facility could be used for activities such as graduation and larger entertainment productions. Currently, stage productions have to use an undersized stage located in the school cafeteria.
    After questions were answered by the superintendent and First Security’s representative, the board voted on a motion by Kinzie Bour and second by Terry Foshee to proceed with the project.
    The board did note that if bids on air conditioning of the facility came in too high that the AC project would be put on hold until a later time.
    The interest rate on the project will be 3.6% and will total slightly more than $56,000, but should be offset by utility savings.
    The motion adopted by the board stated: A resolution authorizing a lease purchase agreement for the purpose of acquiring lighting, HVAC and related equipment and construction of a storage building: designation the Lease-Purchase Agreement as a Qualified Tax Exempt Obligation; and authorizing and prescribing other matters related thereto.

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