Lower interest rate will save Dist. 207 millions on upgrade projects
With interest rates much lower than anticipated, Maine Township High School District 207 officials say they expect to save taxpayers nearly $47 million when they finish selling $195 million in bonds approved by voters in November 2018.
The bonds are helping the district fund a $240 million plan to upgrade infrastructure and enhance security its three high schools -- Maine West in Des Plaines and Maine East and Maine South in Park Ridge.
The work also includes construction of a new field house at Maine West, expansion of the fine arts spaces at all three schools and creation of updated classrooms and labs in the three buildings.
When voters approved the bond issue through a referendum last year, the district estimated it would pay a 4.54% rate on the borrowing. Instead, with two-thirds of the bonds issued in October, officials say, the rate was 2.92%.
That should reduce the district's borrowing costs by about $46.8 million, officials said.
"The rates reflect a feeling that District 207 is a sound financial investment and its high (bond) rating from Moody's," Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Mary Kalou said in an announcement of the bond sales last month.
The district plans to sell the remainder of the bonds in 2022.
Taxpayers will begin to see the impact of the bond sales on their fall 2020 tax bills. Initial district estimates projected that the owner of a $245,000 home in Des Plaines, the median value in the city, would pay $223 more annually during the 20 years that the bonds are repaid. A Park Ridge resident with a median home value of $384,000 would pay an extra $350, according to those estimates.
Along with the bond sale, the building projects are being funded by district reserves.