$8.2M bond proposed for upgrades at Carmel High School, Forest Dale Elementary


Carmel High School and Forest Dale Elementary appear to be next in line for major facility upgrades among Carmel Clay Schools campuses.

The Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees on Nov. 13 discussed the possibility of selling $8.195 million in general obligation bonds to pay for paving, finishes and floor and roof repairs at CHS and pavement and roof updates and playground renovations at Forest Dale. The bond would also include $2 million for general technology upgrades.

A majority of the work is expected to be done during the summer months to avoid disrupting the school day.

Associate Supt. of Business Affairs Roger McMichael, who is also serving as an interim superintendent, said that the bond sale is not expected to affect the tax rate, as the district has been planning for it to occur as other debt is retired. He said CCS is also planning to issue $36.4 million in bonds in 2020 and $38.9 million in 2024 without increasing taxes.

“Our intent is to manage our debt and our funding to maintain a level tax rate or at least not have it go up,” McMichael said.

The proposed 2018 bonds are designed to be paid off within two years. McMichael said some of the projects they will fund would have been paid for with cash in previous years, which would not have generated interest payments. With property tax caps taking effect in 2010, however, CCS has had to look elsewhere for financing.

“Fortunately we’re in a position to be able to sell these bonds for a short period of time,” McMichael said. “In some districts, it’s like a mortgage on your house.”

Once upgrades are complete at CHS and Forest Dale, CCS will set its sights on major projects at Carmel, Orchard Park and Cherry Tree elementary schools.

The school board is expected to authorize a hearing on the $8.195 million bond at its Nov. 22 meeting. Public hearings are expected to be held at the Dec. 11 and Jan. 8, 2018, meetings.