Trustees of Tulsa County Independent School District No. 5 will meet Oct. 9 to decide on a December election for a $153 million bond package. The measure is the biggest in the suburban Tulsa district’s history, and one of Oklahoma’s largest school bond proposals ever.
If voters approve the plan, lease revenue bonds would be issued by a separate public property corporation to finance the new facilities rather than relying on conventional general obligation debt.
The proposed corporation would issue the lease-revenue bonds, use the proceeds to build the facilities, and lease them to the district. The corporation would support the bonds with the proceeds from Tulsa ISD GO bonds that would be pledged as lease payments for the facilities.
Stephen McDonald of Stephen H. McDonald & Associates Inc., the district’s financial adviser, said the lease-revenue option allows school districts to build the facilities at current prices, pay current low interest rates on the debt, and occupy the new facilities years before they otherwise could by using conventional bond financing.
The use of lease revenue bonds, supported by proceeds from conventional GO bonds, allows facilities to be built quicker and cheaper, he said.
Projects to be financed with the bond proceeds include a science and math center at the main campus, an aquatic center, a new education service center and early learning center, a multipurpose practice facility and student activity center, and a performing arts classroom and lab center.
The bonds would also finance classroom additions and renovations at several schools, and renovations to the district’s football stadium and baseball complex.
Tulsa ISD’s bonds are rated Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service.