“The natatorium, which was included in the original design of the project as an add alternate, was a part of the education SPLOST approved by the voters in 2010,” said Don Hood, Calhoun City Schools’ Finance Director.
“The Board’s decision to accept the add alternate will provide a facility to support additional physical education programs as well as health and wellness opportunities for our students and community.”
The school board approved an adjustment of about $4.8 million to the contracted guaranteed maximum price of the project, Hood said.
“This includes approximately $3.4 million for the construction of the natatorium,” he said. “Other major adjustments included constructing a covered walkway between buildings B and C, improving the asphalt track included in the base bid to include the installation of a polyurethane track surface and an improved drainage system; plus funding several smaller improvements.
“The adjustment also includes $475,000 for future contingencies,” he added. “These contingency funds will only be spent if necessary.”
The school system will fund the project with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) dollars.
However, if the appropriate funds are not collected in time for completion of the project, board members intend to ask the City of Calhoun for a $1.5 million line of credit, which would be repaid with SPLOST funds once collected.
“The city’s $1.5 million line of credit will be used if needed to supplement SPLOST revenues and other funding streams,” Hood said. “Internal funds used and any funds drawn from the city’s line of credit will be repaid with SPLOST funds not dedicated for interest and principal payments on outstanding bonds.”
Hood said the addition of the natatorium to the gym “will result in savings by allowing (architects) RA-LIN/Fox & Brindle to include it as a continuation of the gym which is currently under construction.”
The High-Middle School Complex is being constructed using bonds approved by the voters in 2010.
“The bond resolution authorized the city to issue $33 million in bonds for this purpose,” Hood said. “The first $21 million of bonds were issued in 2011 as qualified school construction bonds which are federally subsidized and on which the city will pay no interest.
“The remaining $12 million of bonds were issued in 2012,” he added. “In addition, the Calhoun City Schools received a $15.7 million capital outlay grant from the state for the construction of the new school.”
Construction will begin on the natatorium by July 1 and is expected to be completed by July 1 of next year.