BY ROBERT MORALES
New stadium renovations to be completed by Sept. 3; new field house slated for completion by late December. Total cost: $4.4 million
CCAISD trustees on Monday gave the final go-ahead for the stadium, the final go-ahead for the stadium, track and field house renovations. Construction will begin immediately.
In a presentation to board members, David Gonzalez, vice president for Estrada Hinojosa Investment Bankers from San Antonio, said that his firm was able to procure maintenance tax note financing for $3.385 million at an interest rate of 2.94 percent with JPMorgan Chase. The loan is scheduled to close on May 15, and thatâ€™s when monies would be wired to CCAISD.
According to Mr. Gonzales, the term of the loan is for 15 years. The average annual payment is $281,024. Total principal and interest will be $4,250,366.
As for the other financing the school district will procure, it will be in the form of time warrants to be issued from TIB Independent Bankersbank with headquarters in Irving, Tex. TIB bid 2.49 percent interest while JPMorgan was second lowest bidder at 2.74 percent.
“Proceeds from the sale of the warrants will be used to design, acquire, improve, construct, equip, install new field house, concession, restrooms and ticket booth facilities and pay the cost of issuance,â€ said Mr. Gonzalez. The par amount of the warrants is $1 million.
The $1 million warrants will be financed over 10 years with an average yearly payment of $113,682, with total principal and interest at $1,136,825.
The reason for having a combination of maintenance tax notes and time warrants, Mr. Gonzalez said, was because his firm had proposed financing exclusively with maintenance tax notes. However, the attorney generalâ€™s office would have to approve the proposed financing plan if it entailed only maintenance notes. The attorney generalâ€™s office rendered a decision that said that some of the projects involved with the stadium renovations would not qualify under the heading of maintenance tax notes.
For those projects that the attorney general deemed unacceptable under maintenance tax notes, those would have to be financed with tax warrants. The attorney generalâ€™s office reasoned that completely tearing down a facility, such as the current stadium, would constitute new construction, and it could not be reasonably considered to be “maintenanceâ€ as it was originally proposed.
Trustee Dion Corrales made the motion to approve and seconded by Trustee Angie Gonzalez to adopt a resolution authorizing the issuance of CCAISD maintenance tax
notes. The vote was unanimous.
Following these two votes, Reed Seaton, president and chief executive officer of Hellas Construction, Inc. in Austin, made a presentation to trustees about the more intricate details of the construction project.
The project will be in two phases, and estimated time of completion is Sept. 3, just in time for the first football game of the season on Sept. 5. The field house, Mr. Seaton said, is scheduled for completion in late December because of a variety of permits that have to be approved and issued.
Mr. Seaton said that once under way, there would be opportunities for local contractors to bid for some of the jobs. “We would love to employ as many as people as possible, and I think weâ€™ve hired a couple of people to do some work. He added that the company will advertise for available jobs and bring vendors subcontractors into the mix, such as plumbers, masons, electricians, and tilers. “Even if some of our local contractors are a penny or two more per square foot, weâ€™d be happy to move that work over to them,â€ he said, provided that the contractors are qualified, bonded, insured and have the resources to get the work done. “We have to deliver to you under the timeline,â€ he said.
The new track will be an epiQ TRACKSâ„¢ V300 specification, said Mr. Seaton, consisting of eight lanes. “Itâ€™s in our upper class of track surfaces,â€ he said. One of the outstanding features of the track is that when sand and dirt blow onto the track, it would be repelled by the impervious (waterproof) materials used. The track would have a life expectancy of about 15 to 16 years, said Mr. Seaton, with one minor maintenance cycle at about the eighth year. He said that the track would have to be resprayed and re-lined at a cost of about $70,000 to $90,000, depending on the wear. “A lot if it has to do with walking use, athletes and spikes.â€
Mr. Seaton responded that the entire facility can be locked or unlocked. “My experience in 30 years is the community will embrace it if they can use it, but if they canâ€™t use it, thereâ€™s normally problems.â€
After a lengthy presentation by various Hellas Construction representatives, and prior to the vote to approve the contract for construction with Hellas, trustees were asked whether there were any questions. Trustee Rocio OÃ±ate said that she “was concerned about local contractors.â€
Mr. Seaton said that although no local contractors were needed for the project, the company would extend the opportunity to bid for the local contracts. He added that in certain instances, the company would offer jobs to outstanding workers to join the team with Hellas Construction and take the employee(s) to other cities.
“Iâ€™m all for our local community getting jobs, but weâ€™ve been burned one too many times by local contractors,â€ added Ms. OÃ±ate, “and this is a big deal, itâ€™s a big deal for our community, and I just donâ€™t want this happening.â€
Mr. Seaton reiterated the strict requirements that would be placed on local contractors, including having workers compensation insurance, being bonded, liability insurance and the like.