Flagstar Construction to make $6.07M in renovations
After reviewing multiple financial options, the Coahoma County School Board unanimously approved hiring Flagstar Construction Co. Inc. for $6,071,000 to complete necessary renovations district facilities during its August meeting.
Flagstar’s main office is in Brandon, but the bid came from their Pontotoc location.
William T. Mills, NCARB, principal of Mills & Mills Architects, PC out of Tupelo and Greenville, said another bid came in from a company out of Ripley for approximately $100,000 more.
“We would recommend both of them,” Mills said.
“With the economy being better than it’s been in a while, contractors are really busy,” he added. “That’s why we didn’t have a bunch of people bidding.”
Mills said it would take two to three weeks to get someone on site to begin construction.
“The four items in there would be the bus facility, the new administration building, the renovation of the auditorium at the high school and the parking lot at [Sherard] Elementary school,” he said.
Mills said bus maintenance would cost $3,048,000, a new administration building would cost $2,223,000, parking lot renovations would cost $256,000 and auditorium renovations would cost $544,000.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Ilean Richards said the district has a $4.9 million bond to pay for some of the work, but that still leaves the question of how the other approximately $1.2 million would be raised and spent.
“We’re talking about how to make up for the shortage,” she said, adding. “We can do several things to make up for the shortfall income that the bond will not bring us.”
One option Richards recommended was seeing how far the money would go during the first year of construction and then make a decision.
Richards said there would be cuts to the project. She also said money could be borrowed at an interest rate of 3.3 percent.
“The thing is we could borrow the shortfall and pay interest back on it anywhere from 18-years to 15-years,” she said. “Secondly, we can look within the district and look within our look at our 16th Section Land and our fund balance and see if it’s feasible for us to borrow for ourselves, being where we borrow money, but we create a debt service account where we pay ourselves back, which means that we wouldn’t be paying interest, but we would have to set up a debt service account.
The state of Mississippi owns more than 640,000 acres of trust land known as 16th Section Land."
Trustees manage land held in trust and 108 Mississippi public school districts serve as trustees for 16th Section Land, with the Mississippi Secretary of State serving as the supervising trustee.
If the district borrowed money, Richards said the 3.3 percent interest rate would amount to paying an extra $150,000 per year.
“Well, you get that money in 16th Section, so we could do it that,” Richards explained to the board.
Richards recommended finding a way to borrow the money without having to pay back any interest.
Richards said the district could use money it has already saved.
“We take it out of our savings and put it back later,” said Richards, adding the district would not be required to put the money back.
The Coahoma County School District Budget Synopsis for the 2019-20 school year can be found on Page 10A of today’s Clarksdale Press Register